Targeting plasmacytoid dendritic cells for systemic lupus erythematosus

Targeting plasmacytoid dendritic cells for systemic lupus erythematosus

The opportunity

  • There is currently no cure for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) are over-activated in patients with SLEs
  • W526 selectively inhibits pDC development and is a potential treatment for SLE

SLE is an immune disorder where conventional and pDCs are over-activated. It is estimated to affect around 20-40 people out of every 100,000. There is currently no cure for SLE with treatments predominantly aimed at easing symptoms. 


Scientific diagram


The technology

pDCs are a key driver of SLE due to overproduction of interferons. W526 is a novel inhibitor developed at the Institute that selectively depletes pDCs. We have completed comprehensive in vitro validation in mouse and commenced in vitro validation in human models.

Scientific diagram

Opportunities for partnership 

We are seeking a partner to co-invest in the development of novel inhibitors of pDCs.

We have:

  • An inhibitor of pDC development with nm potency
  • Conducted medicinal chemistry studies and SAR characterisation
  • Validated a HTS assay

We are looking for investment to support:

  1. The development of a lead candidate 
  2. Demonstration of in vivo efficacy and safety
  3. Positioning the technology for pre-clinical toxicity program and IND filing 

Scientific team

Dr Shalin Naik, Laboratory Head, Immunology division
Associate Professor Guillaume Lessene, Leader, New Medicines and Advanced Technologies research theme; Laboratory Head, Chemical Biology Division


Dr Janet Yeo, Business Development Associate

Phone: +61 3 9345 2673