Hey, I like the title. The presentation of data at EULAR shows confidence that the effects are real. Still a long way to go, but it is an interesting activity. A lot will be at stake in the early clinical trials here. I won't get excited before they show that people can tolerate doses big enough to hit effective drug levels.
MYRX is looking to partner this molecule. Any thoughts on the figures, the type of deal, with whom? In the press releases they stated various times that they are interested in RA and Lupus especially. What could be the benefits and use of an anti-interferon drug in RA over the PFE and INCY Jak1/2 drugs. I know this is very very early to know exactly, but how would a potential partner evaluate this at the pre-clinical stage?
I believe JAK/STAT signaling is more connected with the adaptive immunity leg of the immune system, while low-letter interferons are more connected with the innate immunity leg. So different diseases will respond more to one kind of drug or the other. You can recognize interferon-heavy reactions in yourself because they feel cold-like. Frankly, JAK/STAT-heavy reactions feel like creeping death (but only very strong ones--milder ones are just like being tired, and can go un-noticed). Establishment of an autoimmune disease often has an innate-heavy phase during which the disease is presumed to be in principle curable; when it becomes primarily adaptive, it is presumed permanent.
So where does that leave us? Gestational and especially post-partum autoimmune diseases look like good candidates for an anti-interferon. Clearly, some experts think lupus in particular is a decent candidate. There will surely be interest in any disease characterized by cytokine-storms (but the most classic of those is 2-bucket food poisoning, and it's over before you could start treatment). I'd expect that the 2 classes of drugs would be used in combination pretty often.
The potential money from a good RA drug is beyond imagination, so any partnership deal would be exotic and hard to value ahead of time. Lupus is a much smaller market; I'd expect separate licensing for that indication, and relatively sooner. But until the initial phase 2 results are in, this is a pig in a poke. You don't have a drug candidate until you can get effective levels in living people.