Therapeutic Areas

Broad Applications

Oryn is developing therapeutics based on Orynotides — macrocyclic peptide biomolecules inspired by theta defensins, circular peptides that occur naturally in Old World monkeys. In addition to their demonstrated efficacy in preclinical models of several human diseases, Orynotides are highly stable, have excellent bioavailability, are non-toxic and non-immunogenic, and are readily produced at commercial scale.

Autoimmune Diseases

Oryn sought to develop a therapeutic targeting rheumatoid arthritis (RA) due to an unmet need in this and other autoimmune diseases. Despite the success of anti-TNF biologics, many patients do not adequately respond to these agents, and they can also lose efficacy in many patients who initially respond.

Additionally, treatment with RA biologics is associated with often serious side effects, and consequently many products carry black box warnings about risks of severe adverse side effects.

Oryn’s lead candidate ORTD-1

  • A macrocyclic peptide with demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties developed as a subcutaneous injection for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

  • In preclinical models, ORTD-1 rapidly arrests joint damage and clinical signs of disease.

  • Non-immunogenic.

  • ORTD-1 has the potential for treating patients for whom the TNF alpha inhibitors have failed.

  • A Phase 1A randomized, placebo-controlled, ascending single-dose study in healthy volunteers demonstrated no adverse effects; the only drug-related effect was an occasional mild injection site reaction.

  • A Phase 1B randomized, placebo-controlled, ascending multiple-dose study in patients with stable RA is now underway.

ORTD-1 is just the beginning.

Learn More About Our Pipeline

Chronic Inflammatory Disease

The development of therapeutics based on Orynotides was inspired by observation that Old-World monkeys — in which macrocyclic peptides (theta-defensins) naturally occur — are exhibiting an intrinsic resistance to many inflammatory diseases that affect humans, suggesting that macrocylic Orynotides could offer a new class of therapeutics for chronic inflammatory diseases.

For example, a lead Orynotide has been shown to block the development of ulcerative colitis in a widely used mouse model of this disease, indicating the potential of this class of molecules for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease which affects approximately 0.1% of individuals in the western world.

Infectious Diseases

The growing threat of antibiotic resistant bacterial and fungal pathogens requires new paradigms to address the worldwide risk of “superbugs.” These infectious agents have adapted to acquire resistance, in some cases, to all known antibiotics, opening up the real possibility of devastating epidemics.

Multi-drug resistant (MDR) pathogens represent an immediate danger to individuals and populations. A number of studies indicate that antimicrobial resistance will cause more deaths worldwide than cancer by 2050.

MDR bacterial infections

The company has identified and produced Orynotides that are highly effective in preclinical models of MDR bacterial infections mediated by pathogens that are resistant to nearly all known antibiotics. A lead Orynotide is being developed for treatment of systemic infections caused by MDR gram-negative bacteria.

MDR fungal infections

Infections cause by fungal pathogens are becoming increasingly resistant to currently available antifungal drugs, of which only three classes exist. Oryn has identified several Orynotides that are effective in treating drug sensitive and drug resistant fungal infections in mouse models. Funded in part by an NIH SBIR Fast-Track award, Oryn is developing a novel approach for treatment of systemic fungal infections for which no effective agent is currently available.


Oryn has launched a randomized, controlled, blinded, dose-escalating Phase 1b/2 clinical trial to evaluate ORTD-1 for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2–related pneumonia (COVID-19).


The immunomodulating properties of Orynotides are predicted to make them effective in treatment of cancer. In recent studies the company has identified Orynotides that are effective in preclinical models of melanoma and colon adenocarcinoma and a lead compound has been identified for further development.