The drug candidate IMU-838 is blocking an enzyme in the human cell called DHODH that has particular importance for the synthesis of DNA/RNA building blocks (which are responsible for holding and reading our genetic code). Activated cells (e.g. immune cells in an inflammatory environment) depend on DHODH to be able to maintain its regular functions and its ability to multiply. Blocking the enzyme DHODH is hypothesized to result in inhibiting an ongoing inflammation or erroneous immune response which plays a role in many diseases. Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, are known to have regular flare-ups characterized by an overactive immune system.
The current studies are exploring the ability of IMU-838 to improve symptoms, disease marker and endoscopic appearance of patients that have active, symptomatic IBD disease not well controlled with other medications.