Imago is focused on an epigenetic enzyme, LSD1, that removes methyl groups from lysines on histones and other chromatin-bound proteins regulating transcription; the presence or absence of these methyl marks at specific sites on proteins helps determine the properties and fate of blood cells. Blood cells that harbor somatic (newly acquired) mutations have altered patterns of gene expression which dictate their abnormal behavior. The therapeutic goal is to restore normal patterns of gene expression and/or eliminate the mutant cells.
LSD1 activity participates in the regulation of self-renewal and differentiation of hematopoietic cells. LSD1 activity is also associated with the regulation of inflammatory cytokine and growth factor expression in megakaryocytes with a constitutively activated JAK-STAT pathway.
The formation of Imago BioSciences was driven by the desire to gain a deeper understanding of the scientific signaling process, and to exploit transcriptional regulators to alter gene expression in blood cells for clinical benefit. Our therapies have their most profound effects on abnormal cells and, in some cases, may be combined with existing treatments to either restore healthy cellular function or to purge those cells that cannot be rendered harmless.