Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s IBD Ventures Awards Investment to Support Development of Medibiofarma’s Novel First-In-Class PPARg Partial Agonist Oral Therapy (MBF-118) for Treatment of Crohn’s Disease
Pamplona, Spain / March 3, 2023 / Medibiofarma, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapies for gastrointestinal diseases and other indications, announced receipt of funding from the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s IBD Ventures program today to support development of MBF-118, a first-in-class, oral therapy for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). MBF-118 is a patented new chemical entity that acts as a partial agonist of PPAR and has both anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory properties. The therapy addresses a common complication of IBD: intestinal fibrosis, an excessive accumulation of scar tissue in the intestinal wall, leading to stricture formation, which is a narrowing of part of the intestine wall due to scar tissue resulting in severe obstructions.
Pharmacokinetics analysis demonstrates that MBF-118 achieves high levels of exposure in the gut, with excellent tolerability and efficacy in animal models of fibrosis and colitis. The compound is advancing in a phase I clinical development. Funding from the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation will be used to complete the preclinical profile and to further characterize the compound.
The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation launched IBD Ventures to accelerate the discovery and development of research-based products with the potential to address an unmet need of IBD patients. As a venture philanthropy program, IBD Ventures aims to maximize product-oriented research and can uniquely drive greater investments into novel early-stage products. The program funds, advises, and provides resources to companies, academic institutions, and other organizations seeking to develop products that can improve quality of life for patients with IBD. Since 2017, IBD Ventures has awarded over $9 million to portfolio companies in pursuit of proposed projects. For more information, visit us online.
“Fibrosis formation and complications remain leading causes for surgery within the IBD patient population, particularly patients with Crohn’s disease. Identifying and targeting mechanisms of fibrosis development have been critical research priorities for the Foundation, and MBF-118 shows positive signs as a novel therapeutic,” said Russell Wyborski, Ph.D., Director of IBD Venture Investments at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. “Through IBD Ventures, the Foundation looks forward to partnering with Medibiofarma and further advance clinical development of small molecule MBF-118.”
«MBF-118 is the most advanced clinical asset in our pipeline,” said Richard Roberts, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Medibiofarma. «It represents an exciting therapeutical approach to address the current unmet need of the underlying fibrosis and recurrent stenosis for Crohn’s disease patients. We are looking forward to taking MBF-118 into patients for the first time in the next couple of months.”
Dr. Manuel Barreiro, Associate Professor of Digestive Medicine at the University of Santiago and president of the Spanish Crohn’s and Colitis workgroup (GETECCU) said, “Undoubtedly, fibrosing Crohn’s disease is one of the great gaps in the treatment of these diseases, since patients often require surgeries which do not cure the disease, and later need treatment again. The appearance of mechanisms of action such as MBF-118 for this subgroup of patients is, in my opinion, an important advance in the therapeutic algorithm for Crohn’s disease.»
«We very much appreciate the support of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and their confidence in our team and the promise of our MBF-118 project as a potential new therapeutic approach for the treatment of Crohn’s Disease,» said Rodolfo Rodríguez, CEO, Medibiofarma. “We are also pleased to be the first Spanish biotech to be recognized by the Foundation with this award.”
About Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, affects millions of people in the United States, with as many as 70,000 new cases diagnosed each year. While the causes of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are not entirely understood, both are associated with chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, with symptoms that include abdominal pain, increased stool frequency, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and fatigue. Currently available medications alleviate inflammation and reduce symptoms, in some cases may prevent complications, but do not provide a cure, and some have severe adverse effects, including increased risk of infection and malignancy. Thus, there continues to be a high unmet medical need for additional oral agents that are safe and effective for the induction and maintenance of remission of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
About the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation
The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is the leading non-profit organization focused on both research and patient support for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), with the mission of curing Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and of improving the quality of life of the millions of Americans living with IBD. The Foundation’s work is dramatically accelerating the research process through investment in research initiatives, while also providing extensive educational and support resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public. For more information, visit crohnscolitisfoundation.org, call 888-694-8872, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.