About

  • Team

    15 and growing

  • Founded

    2015

  • Location

    Budapest, Hungary

SigmaDrugs Ltd is a Budapest based biotech start-up company founded in 2015. We are dedicated to developing novel applications of Sigma-1 receptor agonists for the treatment of chronic fibrotic diseases including end-stage renal failure, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis as well as fibrosis in the eye. Preclinical studies have been completed, the patent has been accepted in the US, Europe, Israel, China, and Japan. In parallel, SigmaDrugs Ltd is also developing a patented preservation solution for organ transplantation which promotes protection of the graft, thus alleviating donor organ shortage and facilitating improved transplantation outcomes.

Innovation in organ preservation

Our invention is a novel preservation fluid, a medical device which promotes protection of the graft and thus facilitates improved transplantation outcomes. By developing a novel solution containing Sigma-1 receptor agonists we aim to tackle the problem of donor shortage by optimizing the condition of expanded criteria donor grafts and extending maximum graft storage time.

More than 2 million patients are affected by end-stage renal disease worldwide; the number of patients increased tenfold in the past twenty years. The primary treatment option is kidney transplantation, which is associated with improved survival, quality of life and reduced costs compared to dialysis. However, donor organ shortage is a considerable problem and ischemia/reperfusion injury is a major complication that has special influence on long-term survival, yet therapeutic options are not sufficient.

Corneal transplantation is one of the most common types of transplantation with more than 150,000 cases worldwide each year. Despite improved success rate of surgeries 30% of cornea grafts get rejected. Several risk factors (age, comorbidities like diabetes, hypertension, inflammatory diseases, or previous graft rejection) could worsen outcomes. In addition, globally limited supply of donors is an increasing challenge that necessitates improvement of long-term graft preservation.

Innovative therapies for fibrosis

We recently discovered that Sigma-1 receptor agonists may be promising first-in-class treatment for chronic fibrotic diseases including end-stage renal failure, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis as well as open-angle glaucoma which causes fibrosis in the eye. Our patent has been accepted in the US, Europe, Israel, China, and Japan. Clinical phase II studies will be started in the near future.

Fibrosis is a predominant feature of the pathology of a wide range of diseases across multiple organ systems and fibrotic disorders have been estimated to contribute to 45% of all-cause mortality in developed countries.

The human body responds to disease-related injuries by fibrosis, a biological process that involves the remodeling of extracellular matrix, the non-cellular component present in all tissues and organs. When fibrogenic response progresses over a prolonged period, parenchymal scarring and ultimately cellular dysfunction and organ failure ensue. This “wounding response” is orchestrated by complex activities of specific molecular pathways and cells: inflammation, production of growth factors, proteolytic enzymes, angiogenic factors and fibrogenic cytokines