Aquinox Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Now Known As:
Neoleukin Therapeutics Inc.
450 – 887 Great Northern Way
Member Sector: Biopharmaceuticals
Aquinox Pharmaceuticals is a pharmaceutical company committed to the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel and targeted small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory disease. The company was founded in 2004 as a spin-off from research conducted at the University of British Columbia and the BC Cancer Agency, two organizations with outstanding reputations for world-class research. The scientific founders of the company discovered a unique biochemical enzyme called SH2-containing inositol 5′-phosphatase (known as SHIP) and drugs to regulate this enzyme. Activation of SHIP inhibits the critical PI3K pathway in blood cells. The PI3K pathway promotes cell growth, proliferation, survival, and immune cell activation. Aquinox’s most advanced program is its SHIP activator program and has generated promising data with the highly selective compound AQX-MN100, a potent activator of SHIP. AQX-MN100 possesses many desirable drug properties and has demonstrated potent anti-cancer activity as well as anti-inflammatory activity both in vitro and in vivo. Aquinox is now evaluating AQX-MN100, and several closely related analogs that have properties for different routes of administration, and is poised to complete final preclinical testing and advance its lead product into IND studies. The company’s second program is its SHIP inhibition program for blood cell recovery and is making advances in developing drug candidates.