Our focus on Peptide-Based Medicines
We engineer peptides. Our core expertise is the discovery, design and development of peptide-based medicines. We engineer peptide analogs to enhance biological activity, extend duration of action and increase stability to provide innovative and better treatments for a broad range of diseases. Our peptide discovery and development platform has been validated by bringing two approved products marketed respectively by Sanofi and Novo Nordisk, as well as the novel peptide analogs currently in clinical development.
Peptides are composed of amino acids and are produced by all living organisms, including humans. Many peptides are hormones that carry information between cells or organs to perform a wide range of essential functions, such as regulating appetite, blood glucose or stimulating tissue growth. Native peptides have powerful biological functions, but many are inherently unstable and short-lived in the bloodstream. To convert native peptides into effective peptide therapeutics, these characteristics must be modified, while maintaining or enhancing the biological activity. This involves modifying the amino acid sequence of the peptide, usually by substituting with another amino acid.
Peptides generally have a number of advantages as drug candidates that can provide specific therapeutic benefits including: high selectivity with effects only on the intended target thereby providing specific therapeutic benefits; lower risks of toxicity with limited, or no, off-target effects; high potency with strong effects even at low concentrations; favorable safety profiles (including fewer side effects) with minimal drug-to-drug interactions, tailored half-lives and binding affinity; and high regulatory approval rates, with approval rates of 20%, as compared to 10% for small molecule medications. Peptides are also smaller than proteins on a molecular level, which can offer potential advantages in terms of therapeutic administration.