Walden Biosciences Expands Research Collaboration with the University of Michigan

Expands partnership with laboratory of world-leading physician-scientist, Salim Hayek, M.D.

Includes biomarker analysis from Walden’s Phase 1+ clinical study with Walden’s humanized anti-suPAR antibody, WAL0921

Anticipated to further demonstrate suPAR’s causative role in kidney diseases

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 10, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Walden Biosciences, Inc. (Walden), a private, venture-backed biotechnology company focused on transforming the treatment of kidney disease, today announced that it has broadened its research collaboration with the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (U-M).

A key element of the expansion of the collaboration is the inclusion of biomarker analysis of plasma samples from Walden’s Phase 1+ clinical study of WAL0921. WAL0921 is Walden’s first-in-class, proprietary, humanized monoclonal antibody that binds soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) and inhibits its pro-inflammatory action that causes podocyte dysfunction and renal disease. Under the terms of the collaboration, Walden and U-M will analyze the effect in plasma of reducing suPAR levels seen in Walden’s single ascending dose study of WAL0921 in healthy subjects, which recently completed the dosing of all cohorts. Walden will provide clinical samples, materials, data analysis, and may perform experiments to support U-M’s proteomic analysis.

Walden and U-M’s Principal Investigator, Salim Hayek, M.D., previously announced a collaboration, in July 2022, to advance cutting-edge research in the area of genetics and the Mendelian randomization analysis of suPAR. One of Dr. Hayek’s most notable contributions to research has been his characterization of suPAR as a pathogenic factor, causative agent, and druggable target in kidney disease. Dr. Hayek is also a member of Walden Biosciences’ Scientific Advisory Board.

“We are delighted to expand our work with Dr. Hayek’s lab to advance suPAR science as the data generated to date is compelling and has been instrumental in advancing our product development. We look forward to building on this research with proteomic data that expands our understanding of the effect of reducing suPAR levels in people and may further corroborate the causality of suPAR to chronic kidney diseases,” said Alex Duncan, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Walden.

“Our collaboration with Walden continues to be productive and underscores the importance of collaborations between companies and universities in driving innovation. The data we are building together gives us a unique opportunity to transform the treatment of kidney disease and other disease indications where suPAR may play a pathogenic role,” said Dr. Hayek.

About Walden Biosciences
Walden Biosciences is a private, clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing breakthrough, disease-modifying medicines to treat kidney diseases. Walden is applying novel, multi-disciplinary approaches that directly target the kidneys to prevent damage, slow disease progression, and restore kidney function. Walden’s programs address novel targets for therapeutic intervention, directly targeting two cell types critical for kidney function: podocytes and proximal tubular cells. Dysfunction of these cells are critical hallmarks of the majority of renal diseases. Walden’s clinical-stage program is a humanized monoclonal antibody that inhibits suPAR, a pro-inflammatory mediator that causes podocyte dysfunction and renal disease. Walden’s second most advanced program is a small molecule that is designed to restore the function of dynamin, an enzyme responsible for the maintenance of the cytoskeletal architecture and function of podocytes and proximal tubule cells. In addition to the suPAR and dynamin programs, Walden also has a novel anti-fibrotic biologic in preclinical research. All of Walden’s programs offer the promise to deliver disease-modifying, breakthrough therapies that are readily combinable with the standard of care to transform the treatment of renal disease. For more information, please visit www.waldenbiosciences.com.

Investor Contact:
Stern Investor Relations
Anne Marie Fields
Managing Director


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