Aeromics is a clinical stage drug development company developing the world’s first drug targeting a molecular water channel for the treatment of cerebral edema (brain swelling) in stroke. Each year almost 900,000 Americans and an additional 900,000 Europeans suffer a new or recurrent stroke, 85% of which are ischemic. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the USA and the leading cause of disability. The annual medical costs are estimated at ~$70B in the U.S. and are expected to double by 2025. Cerebral edema is predictive of patient outcome in ischemic strokes, and yet there are no approved therapeutics that effectively target and treat cerebral edema as a causal driver of stroke severity.
A paradigm shift in our understanding of water physiology was the discovery aquaporins, proteins that form water channels to allow water into and out of cells, by Peter Agre (2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry). Despite the vital role of aquaporins in maintaining water homeostasis and its implications in various disease states, therapeutic agents targeting aquaporins have remained elusive until now. Aeromics’ drug candidate, AER-271, targets aquaporin-4 (AQP4), the primary water channel in the brain, and has best-in-class credentials for acute intravenous therapy for stroke-related cerebral edema. AER-271 has proven pharmacology demonstrating control of cerebral edema in models for ischemic stroke, cardiac arrest, and water toxicity.