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May 02, 2005
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Xigen: Running a reverse

The classic approach of targeted drug development has been to block a specific enzymatic activity. Blocking protein-protein interactions has been more difficult, because many proteins in cells don't have intrinsic enzymatic activities. Xigen S.A.'s solution is its intracellular dextrogyre peptide transporter (ICPT) technology, which would greatly increase the number of druggable targets.

The core of the company's technology is the combination of the D (right hand) amino acids in retro-inverso form (the primary sequence is reversed) of a fragment of the Islet-Brain 1 (IB1) protein cloned by CSO and co-founder Christophe Bonny and a D retro-inverso version of the HIV tat protein.

The resulting inhibitor of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway is a 31 amino acid peptide dubbed XG-102. The company has seen JNK inhibition of up to 14 days, according to CEO Didier Coquoz.

Xigen believes that regulating...

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