Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)
IPF is a severe life-threatening lung disease characterized by a progressive and irreversible decline in lung function.
The most common symptoms of IPF are shortness of breath and a dry persistent cough. As the disease progresses, the breathing difficulties and lack of oxygen to the tissue leads to a wide variety of symptoms such as weight loss, aching muscles, chronic fatigue and, in many cases, eventually death.
Patients with IPF generally have a poor prognosis with a mean survival between two to five years, and there is a high unmet medical need for safe and well-tolerated medicines that can halt, and potentially reverse, its progression. Galecto is developing an inhaled galectin-3 inhibitor – GB0139. In a phase IIa trial in IPF, GB0139 was safe and well tolerated, and demonstrated unprecedented effects on important biomarkers of disease activity.
Galectins have been implicated in a number of immune-inflammatory mechanisms that can drive tissue injury, fibrosis, and tumor progression. For example, macrophages are an important source of gal-3 which are then activated and able to alter the micro-environment to cause tissue damage, and ultimately scarring (fibrosis).
Galecto is developing GB1211, an oral galectin-3 inhibitor, a first-in-class direct anti-fibrotic agent to treat patients with liver cirrhosis due to different aetiologies. Liver cirrhosis is the final stage of any progressive liver disease and caused 2,20 million deaths in 2017. Up to 2.4% of all global deaths are due to liver cirrhosis and this figure is steadily increasing. Outside of the antiviral treatments for HBV and HCV which are able to prevent cirrhosis development there are currently no approved medications.