Fighting inflammation-driven disease
Function Therapeutics, Inc. is a privately held company aiming to translate recent findings that parmodulins, small molecules that bind to the cell surface receptor PAR1 at an alternative (allosteric) site, promote anti-inflammatory and tissue protective signaling. This novel therapeutic class is under investigation for the treatment of kidney disease and a range of thrombosis and/or inflammation-related disorders. The company was founded based on compounds and assays in the lab of the founder Dr. Chris Dockendorff, complemented by research from collaborators including those at Harvard Medical School, Leipzig University, Versiti Blood Research Institute, and the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Inflammation is a double-edged sword.
Inflammation is the natural cellular response that helps to defend us from infection and rebuild from injury. However, extreme or prolonged levels of inflammation can cause serious damage or mortality. A new class of potential drugs, called parmodulins, can selectively block certain aspects of inflammation while promoting anti-inflammatory signals mediated by protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR1). These "functionally biased" small molecules may represent a novel class of orally active medicines for numerous inflammation-driven disorders. More traditional targets for inflammatory pain are also being matched with molecules rationally designed to lack addictive properties.