NexEos is focused on bringing novel tools to market that address the unmet needs of patients suffering with eosinophil-related diseases including eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). NexEos’ lead program is a novel, non-invasive imaging agent for the diagnosis, treatment monitoring, and management of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), which has the potential to help improve patients’ quality of life, more rapidly diagnose their disease and thus may help delay disease progression. We are developing, in collaboration with scientists at The University of Utah, a novel way to identify inflammation that occurs in eosinophil-related disorders such as eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE).
The patient takes NDX33-o orally then is imaged by SPECT-CT scan.
Areas of eosinophilic inflammation are highlighted by the imaging agent.
Areas of greatest inflammation are shown in red.
This not only identifies that the patient has eosinophil-driven inflammation, but it also shows precisely where throughout the entirety of the esophagus the inflammation exists.
CT Scan of Patient with EoE
Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell that play a role in the body’s immune system. Problems arise when a person has a higher-than-normal number of eosinophils in their blood and/or if eosinophils infiltrate organs and tissues. Currently EoE can only be diagnosed by biopsy of esophageal tissue obtained with observation via an endoscope, a camera attached to a flexible tube that is inserted into a patient’s throat. Endoscopies can be painful, time-consuming and inconclusive, and may carry some risks—all of which discourage patients from undergoing the procedure.
“If a patient swallows this proprietary imaging agent, X-ray-like images will reveal inflamed tissue in which eosinophil major basic protein is deposited.”
Dr. Jerry Gleich, professor of internal medicine and dermatology at The University of Utah and now NexEos Co-Founder & Chief Scientific Officer, discovered that eosinophils contain a major basic protein, a toxic substance that damages tissue where it is deposited after eosinophils release it, causing inflammation. He and his team have identified a compound that binds to this eosinophil major basic protein and can thus be used to image sites of inflammation in the esophagus.
“If a patient swallows this proprietary imaging agent, X-ray-like images will reveal inflamed tissue in which eosinophil major basic protein is deposited,”said Dr. Gleich. In addition to confirming that EoE is causing the pain, the image also will identify precisely where the affected tissue is in the esophagus, how much of the esophagus is affected and the level of severity of the disease.