2:08 PM
May 23, 2019
 |  BC Innovations  |  Emerging Company Profile

Obsidian: Fine-tuning therapeutic protein expression with approved drugs

How Obsidian is designing small molecule-controlled proteins for use in cell therapies and beyond

Obsidian is building a tool kit of engineered proteins whose expression can be finely tuned with FDA-approved small molecules, and its first application is in boosting the efficacy of cell therapies through a deal with Celgene. Founded by Atlas Venture in 2015, the start-up thinks it can deploy the tech in any modality where proteins can be manufactured.

The centerpieces of Obsidian Therapeutics Inc.’s technology are its drug-responsive domains -- small domains that are fused to a protein of interest. Each domain is stabilized by an FDA-approved small molecule: in the presence of the molecule, the protein remains stable and carries out its normal functions; in the absence of the small molecule, the protein becomes unstable and degrades.

CEO Paul Wotton told BioCentury with the technology, “We can control the timing of activation as well as the amount of protein that’s actually activated.”

Obsidian's drug-responsive domain tool kit includes those responsive to drugs such as PDE-5 inhibitors, of which five are approved by FDA.

"One of the...

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