More Progress, with More Confidence
By: Andrew A Radin, CEO & Co-founder, Aria Pharmaceuticals
In 2022, Aria Pharmaceuticals made significant headway on nearly every front in our mission to bring novel and needed treatments into the clinic. It’s been a busy, productive and most of all rewarding 12 months.
If I were to spotlight one milestone, it would be our efforts in securing intellectual property for our most advanced treatments. It’s a vital step towards our ability to enter investigational new drug (IND) enabling studies, a critical part to moving forward with human clinical trials and the regulatory pathway needed to commercialize our treatments.
Our decision to advance our idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), lupus, and chronic kidney disease (CKD) treatments was not made lightly. This is a significant investment, but it is based on well-designed and well-executed research led by an extremely experienced team of scientific and analytical leaders. We have never been more optimistic and confident in our future.
In fact, confidence is a theme I’d like to hit on for 2023. We continued to generate and present data across our pipeline that validated moving our treatments forward. Equally important to our future is that our Symphony™ platform and its predictive capabilities are repeatedly proving to be highly accurate. This gives us increased confidence in not only our current pipeline, but in our ability to find more novel treatments against complex and hard to treat diseases.
To sum the year up, I’d like to highlight three areas of exciting progress.
First, our data continues to impress
We ended 2021 with a significant catalogue of well-orchestrated preclinical data that validated the treatments we have identified with Symphony™, our novel artificial intelligence (AI) drug discovery platform. A prime example is our work in IPF, a complex, heterogeneous disease that for decades has seen little progress in treatment advances.
Just last month, our team presented a third preclinical study on our lead IPF treatment candidate, TXR-1002, that boosted our confidence significantly in the potential for this novel therapy. We purposely chose to conduct this study in rat models with more complex airway anatomy than is typical for preclinical research into lung fibrotic diseases. Now we are working towards IND-enabling studies and remain excited about driving this treatment forward through clinical research and regulatory pathways.
Second, our platform is proving out repeatedly
This year, we continued to improve our capabilities with our Symphony™ platform. One thing I’d like to highlight is that through a robust retrospective study, our team quantified that Symphony™-supported predictions boast a greater than 80% transition rate from phase 2 to 3.
This is significant for two reasons. The first is that it gives us unprecedented confidence for investing into further preclinical and then onto clinical research for our candidates. Second is that it gives us the insights necessary to mitigate drug development risks and maximize the likelihood of choosing the best candidates for success at Phase 1 and Phase 2 milestones. This allows us to choose candidates from the start that will be more likely to see clinical success.
Finally, we’re sharing our insights among the industry
We did a lot of work presenting and discussing publicly how our Symphony™ platform works and why it’s a significant step forward for drug discovery. It’s been a busy year. All told, we have been invited to speak at more than a dozen industry conferences and have authored or been featured in 10 leading industry media outlets, including Biospace and Fierce Biotech.
Much of that conversation has revolved around not only Symphony™, but the tangible results and data it and our team are delivering. I believe this is important to call out because we are approaching things differently — we have the only drug discovery platform to integrate and simultaneously analyze completely unconnected multimodal data in one process in a fully traceable, rationalized approach. There are many players applying technology toward drug discovery, and while the industry hype is declining somewhat, there’s still a real need for education about the problems we’re trying to solve and how technology can integrate into drug discovery in addressable ways. It is our hope that the more we do to educate the industry and share our learnings, insights, and approach, the more open the industry will be to adopting new approaches to drug discovery.
I truly believe we have built a team like no other here at Aria. Our leadership team has seen 17 products through to FDA approval and three pharmaceutical companies through to their successful IPOs. Our experts in both R&D and data science work hand in hand every single day to find new treatments, improve our capabilities and bring our pipeline forward. Discovering novel treatments and cracking complex disease biology is hard, but we’re committed to working harder to make it possible. We are well prepared to begin the new year with the goal of entering IND-enabling studies with our most promising candidates, continuing to generate data against our pipeline, and seek new novel treatments against intractable diseases.