Washburn Therapeutics, Inc. is developing a new class of polymer therapeutics to treat a broad range of inflammatory conditions. Polymer therapeutics is an emerging class of drug that conjugates a known therapeutic agent to a polymer in order to provide targeted delivery. The technology was developed from Carnegie Mellon University and has been licensed exclusively by the firm.
Polymer therapeutics work by using a polymer conjugation in order to localize the effects of antibody inhibitors of tumor necrosis factor- a protein known as the central mediator of inflammation. These antibodies form the basis for a $13 Billion Dollar sector of the biotechnology industry and significant safety concerns have been raised because of their powerful immunosuppressive effects. By localizing the delivery of TNF-ainhibitors, it may be possible to treat psoriasis, burns, chronic wounds, and other conditions characterized by intense, local inflammation without many of the side-effects observed through standard administering of the unconjugated drug.