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12:00 AM
Jan 05, 2015
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Mimicking proteoglycans

Symic developing synthetic proteoglycan mimics for vascular access, OA

Symic Biomedical Inc. is developing a library of synthetic mimics that function like natural proteoglycans but are easier to manufacture and aren't susceptible to enzymatic degradation, opening up previously untapped therapeutic space.

Proteoglycans, which are found in the extracellular matrix, are a class of complex macromolecules composed of a core protein onto which glycosaminoglycan side chains are attached. The exact role of the proteoglycan depends on its components and tissue location.

CEO Ken Horne said low expression has made it challenging to obtain enough proteoglycans to test at a therapeutic level, either by purifying them from tissue, or by manufacturing them in mammalian cell lines. Using chemistry to manufacture proteoglycans would be an extremely complex and time-consuming process that would also result in very low yields, he added.

Symic is instead using synthetic chemistry to make compounds that are functional mimics of natural proteoglycans. "We haven't replicated the molecule. We've simplified the molecule structurally and then showed...

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