HAE Drug Candidates Receive Intellectual Property Protection in Europe
Ozge Ozkaya, MSc, PhD

The European Patent Office has granted Verseon intellectual property protection covering the company’s plasma kallikrein inhibitors (PKIs) that are being developed for the treatment of hereditary angioedema (HAE) and other chronic conditions.

“These novel compounds have unique sets of pharmacological properties that could help hundreds of millions of people around the world,” David Kita, Verseon’s chief scientific officer, said in a press release from the company.

The PKIs being developed for HAE are called VE-4666 and VE-4062. They are both in the preclinical stage of development and are being developed as oral pills to be used as a prophylactic treatment before an angioedema attack occurs.

Hereditary angioedema is characterized by attacks of swelling caused by the overproduction of bradykinin, which is produced by plasma kallikrein. By blocking the activity of plasma kallikreins, it is hoped that these PKIs could reduce bradykinin levels, thereby preventing HAE attacks.

Read more about the pathophysiology of HAE

Current treatments that are available to treat HAE have to be injected or infused into the bloodstream. The PKIs being developed by Verseon have the advantage of oral administration, which will make them easier to use as prophylactic treatment at home if approved.

Other conditions that these PKIs could treat include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, certain forms of heart disease, various inflammatory conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis, and dermatological conditions like atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. According to the company, they also “hold promise as treatments for cancers of the breast, lung, prostate, brain, and spine.”

The company has previously been granted similar intellectual property protections for its compounds in the United States, Mexico, Israel, and Australia.

Ozge Ozkaya, MSc, PhD

Özge’s background is in research; she holds a MSc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester and a PhD. in Developmental Biology from the University of London. Özge worked as a bench scientist for six years in the field of neuroscience before embarking on a career in science communication. She worked as the research communication officer at MDUK, a UK-based charity that supports people living with muscle-wasting conditions, and then a research columnist and the managing editor of resource pages at BioNews Services before joining Rare Disease Advisor.