Pharma Focus Asia

Vera Therapeutics Launches Breakthrough Atacicept Therapy for Immunoglobulin A Nephropathy

Vera Therapeutics has introduced Atacicept, a breakthrough therapy for Immunoglobulin A Nephropathy (IgAN). 

Atacicept is an investigational recombinant fusion protein that incorporates the soluble transmembrane activator and calcium-modulating cyclophilin ligand interactor (TACI) receptor. 

This receptor binds to the cytokines B-cell activating factor (BAFF) and A proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL), which are members of the tumour necrosis factor family. These cytokines promote B-cell survival and autoantibody production, contributing to autoimmune diseases such as IgAN and lupus nephritis.

The Phase 2b ORIGIN clinical trial (NCT04716231) is a global, multicenter, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study assessing the safety and efficacy of atacicept in 116 patients with IgAN. 

These patients have persistent proteinuria and remain at high risk of disease progression despite being on a stable regimen of a renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitor (RAASi) for at least 12 weeks at the maximum labelled or tolerated dose.

IgA nephropathy (IgAN), also known as Berger’s disease, is a serious and progressive autoimmune kidney disorder with a significant unmet medical need. The disease is driven by the production of immunogenic galactose-deficient IgA1 (Gd-IgA1), which triggers the formation of autoantibodies. 

These autoantibodies bind to Gd-IgA1, forming pathogenic immune complexes that become trapped in the glomeruli of the kidneys. This entrapment leads to inflammation and progressive kidney damage.

Atacicept, targeting B cells and plasma cells to reduce autoantibodies, has demonstrated best-in-class potential. It has been administered to more than 1,500 patients in clinical studies across various indications.

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