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12:00 AM
 | 
Jul 16, 2012
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

PeptiVir: Universal stabilization

PeptiVir developing flu vaccine using protein stabilization technology

Current peptide stabilization technologies use chemical linkers to keep peptides in their natural state, but in some cases these can cause autoimmune reactions. PeptiVir Inc. aims to avoid such effects by placing hydrophobic amino acids in specific locations within the core of its synthetic peptides to stabilize the compounds.

In the body, peptides are connected to other proteins that act as a stabilizing scaffold to maintain the peptide in a biologically active alpha helix conformation. The alpha helix regions allow the peptides to interact with other domains within the protein or with proteins involved in another complex.

Because alpha helix regions are important for biologic activity, they are often developed as therapeutics. But once the peptide is separated from its scaffold, it loses its shape, which results in loss of activity and degradation.

PeptiVir uses its conformationally constrained synthetic peptide stabilization technology to design synthetic peptides and maintain them in the alpha-helical state.

According to PeptiVir co-founder Robert Hodges, the technology "takes advantage of what nature has taught us over the last...

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