WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA / ACCESSWIRE / January 13, 2020 / Arcutis Biotherapeutics, Inc. (Arcutis), a privately held late-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing treatments for unmet needs in immune-mediated dermatological diseases and conditions, or immuno-dermatology, today announced that in December 2019, it exercised its option under a 2018 License Agreement with Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine Co., Ltd. of China (Hengrui) for an exclusive license to the active pharmaceutical ingredient in ARQ-252, a potent and highly selective inhibitor of janus kinase type 1 (JAK1), for all topical dermatological uses in the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan. Arcutis plans to develop ARQ-252 for hand eczema and other inflammatory dermatoses.
Frank Watanabe, Arcutis’ President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We greatly appreciate our collaborative interaction with Hengrui. JAK1 inhibition is a promising approach to inflammatory dermatologic diseases, and Hengrui’s JAK inhibitor appears to be an ideal candidate for use in dermatology. The key to JAK inhibition for dermatology is effective JAK1 inhibition with little or no JAK2 inhibition, which, based on data to date, we believe ARQ-252 has the potential to deliver. We look forward to initiating our Phase 2b study in hand eczema in the first half of 2020.”
Hengrui is developing SHR0302, the active ingredient in ARQ-252, for the oral treatment of various inflammatory and immunological disorders, and has already completed a Phase 2 study in rheumatoid arthritis with oral SHR0302. Under the agreement, Arcutis has the exclusive rights to SHR0302 for all topical dermatological uses in its territory, as well as a right of reference to Hengrui safety data, along with the systemic toxicology data supporting their program. Hengrui has built strong intellectual property protection around the active ingredient in ARQ-252 and holds U.S. composition of matter patents. Arcutis anticipates initiating a Phase 2b study in the first half of 2020 to evaluate the compound as a potential treatment for hand eczema. Arcutis also anticipates initiating a Phase 2a study in vitiligo in the second half of 2020.
ARQ-252 is a potent and highly selective topical small molecule inhibitor of janus kinase type 1 (JAK1). Many inflammatory cytokines and other signaling molecules rely on the JAK pathway, and specifically JAK1, which plays a central role in immune system function. Inhibition of JAK1 has been shown to treat a range of inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, and eczema. Arcutis believes that, due to its high selectivity for JAK1 over JAK2, ARQ-252 has the potential to treat inflammatory diseases without causing the hematopoietic adverse effects typically associated with JAK2 inhibition.
About Arcutis – Bioscience, applied to the skin.
Arcutis is a late-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing treatments for unmet needs in immune-mediated dermatological diseases and conditions, or immuno-dermatology. Arcutis exploits recent innovations in inflammation and immunology to develop potential best-in-class therapies against validated biological targets, leveraging our deep development, formulation and commercialization expertise to bring to market novel dermatology treatments, while maximizing our probability of technical success and financial resources. Arcutis is currently developing three novel compounds (ARQ-151, ARQ-154 and ARQ-252) for multiple indications, including psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis and eczema. For more information, please visit www.arcutis.com or follow the Company on LinkedIn.
John W. Smither
Chief Financial Officer
Investors and Media:
Derek Cole, President
Investor Relations Advisory Solutions
SOURCE: Arcutis Biotherapeutics, Inc.