Ardelyx was founded in 2007 by Dominique Charmot, Ph.D., Peter Schultz, Ph.D. and Jean Frechet, Ph.D., to discover, develop and commercialize innovative, non-systemic, small molecule therapeutics that work exclusively in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract to treat cardio-renal, GI and metabolic diseases. We have developed a proprietary drug discovery and design platform enabling us, in a rapid and cost-efficient manner, to discover and design novel drug candidates. Utilizing our platform, we discovered and designed our lead product candidate, tenapanor, which in preclinical and clinical studies has consistently demonstrated the ability to reduce the absorption of dietary sodium and phosphorus, both of which are key factors in the progression of kidney disease. In 2012, we entered into a collaboration partnership with AstraZeneca, for the worldwide development and commercialization of tenapanor.
AstraZeneca is responsible for all of the development and commercialization costs for tenapanor, and we have retained an option to co-promote in the United States. Together with AstraZeneca, we are evaluating tenapanor in three Phase 2 clinical trials in patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD), late-stage chronic kidney disease (CKD), and constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-C).
To enhance our proprietary drug discovery and design platform, we have developed a cell-culture system to simulate gut tissues called Ardelyx Primary Enterocyte and Colonocyte Culture System (APECCS). We have also identified over 3,800 proteins on the inner surface of the gut, many of which we believe may be drug targets. In addition to tenapanor, we are evaluating small molecule NaP2b inhibitors for the treatment of elevated phosphorus, or hyperphosphatemia in ESRD, a program we have licensed to Sanofi. We are also independently advancing three other discovery and lead development programs focused in cardio-renal, GI and metabolic diseases.