LJPC-401 is La Jolla’s novel formulation of hepcidin. Hepcidin, an endogenous peptide hormone, is the body’s naturally occurring regulator of iron absorption and distribution. Hepcidin prevents excessive iron accumulation in vital organs, such as the liver and heart, where it can cause significant damage and even result in death.  La Jolla is developing LJPC-401 for the potential treatment of iron overload, which occurs as a result of diseases such as hereditary hemochromatosis (HH), beta thalassemia and sickle cell disease (SCD). HH is a disease caused by a genetic deficiency in hepcidin that results in excessive iron accumulation. HH is the most common genetic disease in Caucasians and causes liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, heart disease and/or failure, diabetes, arthritis and joint pain. Beta thalassemia and SCD are genetic diseases of the blood that can cause life-threatening anemia and usually require frequent and life-long blood transfusions. These blood transfusions cause excessive iron accumulation in the body, which is toxic to vital organs, such as the liver and heart. In addition, the underlying anemia causes excessive iron accumulation independent of blood transfusions.  LJPC-401 has been shown to be effective in reducing serum iron in preclinical testing. La Jolla has initiated a Phase 1 clinical trial of LJPC-401 in patients at risk of iron overload due to conditions such as HH, beta thalassemia and SCD.