12:00 AM
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Nov 02, 2015
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Targeted disruption

PEP-Therapy's peptides block specific protein-protein interactions

PEP-Therapy S.A.S. is developing fusion peptides for cancer that block specific intracellular protein-protein interactions, which could be safer than broad inhibitors of the same proteins.

The company's fusion peptides comprise an optimized cell-penetrating peptide that shuttles a short interfering peptide into the cell.

The shuttle is a 12-amino-acid peptide derived from an enzyme in a cattle parasite. The biotech modified the peptide with point mutations to prevent degradation by proteases, which in turn improves in vivo stability and cellular uptake compared with earlier attempts at developing therapeutic cell-penetrating peptides.

The interfering peptide targets a particular binding site on an enzyme to block a specific protein-protein interaction, while leaving the rest of the target protein's function intact. The binding sites were identified by co-founder Angelita Rebollo and colleagues at the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM).

PEP-Therapy's lead program, DPT-PEP1 (DPT-C9h), targets a binding site between protein phosphatase 2 (PPP2CA; PP2A)...

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