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Amgen funds development of intracellular drugs

By Flora Southey , 09-May-2017

iStock/darnellvfx
iStock/darnellvfx

Amgen has teamed with Feldan Therapeutics and Elasmogen in an exclusive research agreement to develop and deliver intracellular biologics.

Canada-based Feldan’s Shuttle platform and Scotland-based Elasmogen’s soloMER technology will be employed in the Amgen-funded collaboration.

The Feldan Shuttle technology is a peptide-based delivery method that facilitates the introduction of foreign proteins into cells.

Elasmogen’s soloMERs are small, robust binding domains which, according to Elasmogen, make them resistant to changes in pH in intracellular conditions. 

“Our soloMERs are the smallest naturally occurring binding domains in the animal kingdom and they are incredibly stable, making them the perfect candidates for surviving the conditions inside the cell,” Elasmogen CEO Caroline Barelle told BioPharma-Reporter.com.

Intracellular biologics

Currently, all approved biologic antibody therapeutics act on extracellular targets.

According to Feldan CEO François-Thomas Michaud, intracellular delivery enables access to an increased number of targets.

To date, intracellular targeting for therapeutic intervention has largely been reliant on small molecules, because large biologics cannot enter the cells.

“Intracellular delivery and binding of biologics can bridge the gap between small molecules and biologics,” Feldan said.

“By combining our technology with Feldan’s shuttle, we have achieved not only localisation inside the cell, but inside the nucleus, as well as opening up a whole new world of possible therapeutic targets,” Barelle told us.

Exclusive agreement

The research agreement is funded by Amgen, and is exclusive to the development and delivery of two, undisclosed targets.

Feldan and Elasmogen established a partnership in 2016 for the development of intracellular biologics.

Barelle told us the companies are speaking to a number of other potential partners, but did not reveal details. 

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