HYCOs exert a dual biological activity by activating Nrf2/HO-1 and simultaneously releasing CO in vitro and in vivo


Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), an inducible enzyme that degrades heme to carbon monoxide (CO) and which expression is controlled by the transcription factor Nrf2, is an essential protective system against oxidative stress and inflammation. Developing strategies that target or mimic the Nrf2/HO-1/CO axis may offer new therapeutic avenues in the treatment of a variety of diseases. Our technology consists of a novel class of anti-inflammatory hybrid compounds termed HYCOs that are able to activate Nrf2/HO-1 and simultaneously liberate CO in vitro and in vivo. HYCOs have shown significant anti-inflammatory effects in different cell types (macrophages, monocytes, keratinocytes, microglia) and efficacy in pre-clinical models of psoriasis, endotoxin-induced inflammation as well as multiple sclerosis.



  • Treatment of inflammatory diseases, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis
  • Cardiovascular protection


Competitive advantages

  • Novel class of anti-inflammatory chemical entities
  • Novel therapeutic approach with a dual biological activity
  • Comparable efficacy with DMF, an orally approved drug for the treatment of multiple sclerosis


Intellectual property

  • International patent application WO2015140337
  • Priority patent application filed on sept. 2015



Nrf2 - CO-releasing molecules (CO-RMs) - Small molecules - Anti-inflammatory - Cardiovascular - Psoriasis - Multiple Sclerosis

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