CalciMedica is dedicated to the discovery and development of novel small molecule drugs for the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders and organ transplant rejection. Autoimmune diseases affect millions of people worldwide. More than 80 autoimmune diseases are known, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, lupus, Crohn's disease and type I diabetes. All these diseases result from the attack and destruction of different organs of the body by the patient’s own immune system. There is a large unmet need for safer and more effective medications in immunosuppressant therapy for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases and for organ transplant rejection. Drugs currently used to treat these conditions do not selectively target immune cells, and therefore, often cause severe side effects, such as nephrotoxicity and neurotoxicity.
CalciMedica’s drug discovery and development strategy is based on the specific inhibition of the calcium release-activated calcium (CRAC) channel, a key component of the Icrac pathway in immune cells. The Icrac pathway is essential for adaptive immune response, and has been validated as a drug target in humans. CalciMedica has acquired exclusive rights to Orai1, the CRAC channel subunit, and STIM1, the calcium sensor located in the endoplasmic reticulum, that function together as gatekeepers of the Icrac pathway. STIM1 and Orai1 were cited in Science as being among the signaling breakthroughs of 2005 and 2006, respectively.