RIGImmune is a biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of immune modulating therapies for diseases caused by RNA viruses and antitumor immune response induction. Our therapeutic candidates are designed to ameliorate a broad spectrum of disease conditions and therapeutic outcomes arising from viral infections and certain cancers. The RIGImmune development candidates could also benefit vaccines for multiple viral respiratory infections as adjuvants or boosters.
Our core technology centers around compounds that target the cytosolic RNA sensor RIG-I, which plays a critical role in activation of the innate immune system. The innate immune system utilizes host encoded nucleic acid sensors known as pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) to surveil viral pathogens. These receptors then activate the downstream immune machinery upon detection of a cognate pathogen associated molecular pattern (PAMP). RIG-I is one such PRR that mediates viral RNA recognition and initiates front line anti-viral defense through Interferon-1 dependent and independent mechanisms
Our development compounds, known as stem loop RNA compounds or “SLRs” act as specific and potent activators for RIG-I. The SLRs are designed to mimic the physiological double-stranded viral RNA ligands for RIG-I that are released during viral infection. The SLRs have demonstrated to be highly potent and well-tolerated in preclinical models for multiple viral respiratory diseases. The SLRs have been shown to induce an antitumor immune response in multiple oncology models.
In addition to this new class of therapeutic oligonucleotides that agonize RIG-I, we are also developing an internal platform of small molecule RIG-I antagonists. Antagonists to RIG-I may have considerable clinical significance in strategies for immune suppression to control inflammation in certain auto-immune diseases and conditions characterized by an aberrant interferon production.