Jasper Therapeutics Announces Phase 1b/2a Study of Briquilimab in Asthma

Jasper Therapeutics announces Phase 1b/2a study of briquilimab in asthma patients, aiming to deplete mast cells and prevent allergen-induced asthmatic responses. The study is expected to begin enrolling patients in Q4 2024, with initial clinical data anticipated in H2 2025.

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Nitish Verma
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Jasper Therapeutics Announces Phase 1b/2a Study of Briquilimab in Asthma

Jasper Therapeutics Announces Phase 1b/2a Study of Briquilimab in Asthma

Jasper Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, has announced the expansion of its mast cell development program with a Phase 1b/2a study evaluating briquilimab in asthma patients. The study, which is expected to begin enrolling patients in the fourth quarter of 2024, aims to investigate the potential of briquilimab to deplete mast cells in the airways and lungs, thereby preventing allergen-induced asthmatic responses.

Why this matters: The development of a new treatment option for asthma patients could have a significant impact on public health, as asthma affects millions of people worldwide and is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. If successful, briquilimab could provide a new avenue for treating asthma and improving the quality of life for those affected by the disease.

Mast cells play a critical role in driving the inflammatory response in asthma. As Dr. Wendy Pang, Senior Vice President of Research and Translational Medicine at Jasper Therapeutics, explains, "Mast cells are critical drivers of the inflammatory response in asthma. These cells are located in multiple compartments in the lungs and when triggered, release potent mediators such as histamine, cytokines, tryptase, and others that contribute to the asthmatic response."

Briquilimab, a novel antibody therapy targeting c-Kit (CD117), has demonstrated the ability to deplete mast cells in preclinical studies. By inhibiting signaling through the c-Kit receptor, briquilimab disrupts the critical survival signal for mast cells, leading to their depletion via apoptosis. This mechanism of action removes the underlying source of the inflammatory response in mast cell-driven diseases such as chronic urticaria and asthma.

The Phase 1b/2a study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of briquilimab in asthma patients, with the company planning to present initial clinical data in the second half of 2025. Ronald Martell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jasper Therapeutics, emphasizes the potential impact of briquilimab, stating, "Asthma remains a devastating chronic disease affecting millions of patients in the US, despite current treatment options. We believe that briquilimab's ability to deplete mast cells in the lung may have a significant impact on disease control across all types of asthma, including patients who are not indicated for current biologic agents or who remain refractory to them."

The unmet medical need in asthma is significant, with many patients remaining underserved by currently approved therapies. Prof. Joshua Boyce, Albert L. Sheffer Professor of Medicine in the Field of Allergic Diseases at Harvard Medical School, believes that mast cell depletion via c-Kit inhibition is a promising approach to address this unmet need. "Many patients suffering from asthma remain underserved by currently approved therapies. I believe that mast cell depletion via c-Kit inhibition is a promising mechanism of action with potential to address significant unmet need in asthma, and as a potent and differentiated c-Kit inhibitor, briquilimab could serve as an important treatment option for the significant portion of the asthma community that is refractory to existing biologic agents," Prof. Boyce states.

Jasper Therapeutics will host a Key Opinion Leader (KOL) webinar on May 20, 2024, at 8:00 a.m. EDT, featuring Prof. Joshua Boyce, who will discuss the current treatment landscape and unmet medical need for patients suffering from asthma, as well as the potential of briquilimab as a therapeutic option.

The announcement of the Phase 1b/2a study of briquilimab in asthma patients marks a significant milestone for Jasper Therapeutics as it expands its mast cell development portfolio. With the study expected to begin enrolling patients in Q4 2024 and initial clinical data anticipated in the second half of 2025, the company is poised to make important strides in addressing the unmet medical needs of asthma patients. As a potent and differentiated c-Kit inhibitor, briquilimab holds promise as a potential therapeutic option for those who remain underserved by current treatments.

Key Takeaways

  • Jasper Therapeutics announces Phase 1b/2a study of briquilimab in asthma patients.
  • Briquilimab aims to deplete mast cells in airways and lungs to prevent asthmatic responses.
  • Mast cells drive inflammatory response in asthma; briquilimab targets c-Kit to disrupt signaling.
  • Study to evaluate safety and efficacy, with initial data expected in H2 2025.
  • Briquilimab has potential to address unmet medical need in asthma, particularly for underserved patients.