Antibodies make ideal targeted therapeutics because Darwinian selection can be applied to them both in vivo and in vitro to create diversity and specificity. But manufacturing mAbs can be a long and expensive process. The scientific founders of Bicycle Therapeutics Ltd., Gregory Winter and Christian Heinis, wanted to know whether such Darwinian selection could be applied to small molecules. The result was bicyclic peptides, which combine the selectivity and diversity of antibodies with the cheaper, chemistry-based manufacturing of small molecules.

The company hopes to develop its own pipeline of therapeutics, as well as pursue discovery collaborations with partners. Last month, Bicycle received undisclosed seed funding to develop its platform.