By Wayne Koberstein, Executive Editor, Life Science Leader magazine
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IM Therapeutics is an early-stage developer of small molecule oral drugs to treat autoimmune diseases by inhibiting specific HLA (human leukocyte antigen) proteins that help trigger the conditions. Its lead drug, coded IMT-002, is in a Phase 1b trial for treatment of Type 1 diabetes (T1D) by blocking HLA-DQ8, a gene variant that promotes the immune system’s attack on insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The company also has several preclinical lead candidates for a drug to block HLA-DQ2, a gene variant found in 90% of celiac disease. Other early programs have identified candidates for various autoimmune conditions using IM’s proprietary screening technology.