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Avila Therapeutics Presents Preclinical Data with AVL-292, its Btk Inhibitor, Demonstrating Suppression of Autoimmune Disease Activity

AVL-292 Data Showing Rapid Reduction of Arthritis Scores and Arthritis Symptoms Presented at FOCIS 2011 Meeting

WASHINGTON & WALTHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun 23, 2011 - Avila Therapeutics™, Inc., a biotechnology company developing novel targeted covalent drugs, today announced the presentation of data on AVL-292, a clinical-stage inhibitor of Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk), at the 2011 Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) meeting taking place on June 23-26, 2011 in Washington, DC. The data presented demonstrate that AVL-292, a potent and selective inhibitor of Btk, rapidly reduced clinical arthritis scores as well as inflammation, joint damage and bone erosion in preclinical studies in animal models.

“These encouraging data support development of AVL-292 as a potential treatment for arthritis, and Btk as an exciting new target for autoimmune indications,” said Juswinder Singh, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Avila Therapeutics. “AVL-292 selectively inhibits Btk and has applications for a range of B cell mediated diseases. We look forward to building on our progress with AVL-292 in hematological cancers by exploring opportunities for its development in autoimmune diseases.”

In a poster presentation titled “From Bench to Bedside: Covalently Silencing Bruton's Tyrosine Kinase with AVL-292,” Erica Evans, Ph.D., Principal Scientist at Avila Therapeutics, presented data demonstrating that:


  • AVL-292 is a potent, selective, covalent inhibitor of Btk, showing dose dependent inhibition of Btk and high specificity against the kinase family.
  • Btk target site occupancy can be used as a biomarker of AVL-292 activity and assessed using a versatile companion covalent probe assay with in vitro or ex vivo samples.
  • Daily, oral dosing of AVL-292 is efficacious in the Collagen Induced Arthritis model, reducing arthritis scores as well as inflammation, pannus, cartilage damage and bone erosion.
  • Initiation of daily, oral AVL-292 treatment at peak disease in the CIA model results in rapid reduction of clinical arthritis score as well as a reduction in histopathological joint pannus and bone damage.
  • AVL-292 was safe and well tolerated in a Phase 1a healthy volunteer clinical trial with dose proportional exposure. Btk target site occupancy was detected at all dose levels and complete occupancy was demonstrated at doses as low as 1mg/kg.

About AVL-292 and Bruton's Tyrosine Kinase (Btk)

AVL-292 is a novel, orally available, covalent drug that targets Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk). Inhibition of Btk is a promising new approach to treatment of diseases that are driven by B cells, including certain hematologic cancers (e.g. non-Hodgkin lymphoma and B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia) and autoimmune diseases (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis).

AVL-292 selectively and covalently binds to Btk to inactivate and silence its activity. This unique mechanism of action confers greater target selectivity and a longer duration of action than is typical of conventional small molecule drugs. In preclinical studies, AVL-292 was efficacious in a variety of animal disease models. AVL-292 is in clinical development and has successfully completed two Phase 1a clinical studies to date.

Development of AVL-292 is supported in part by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

About Avila Therapeutics™, Inc.

Avila Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the design and development of targeted covalent drugs to achieve best-in class outcomes. This approach, called “protein silencing”, cannot be achieved through traditional chemistry techniques. The company's product pipeline has been built using its proprietary Avilomics™ platform and is currently focused on cancer, viral infection and autoimmune disease. Avila's most advanced product candidate, AVL-292, a potential treatment for cancer and autoimmune diseases, is currently in Phase 1 clinical testing. Avila is funded by leading venture capital firms: Abingworth, Advent Venture Partners, Atlas Venture, Novartis Option Fund, and Polaris Venture Partners. For additional information, please visit


Contact: The Yates Network
Gina Nugent, 617-460-3579



Posted: June 2011

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