Pieris and Pepscan to identify GPCR-specific Anticalins(R) using CLIPS(TM) protein mimicry technology
Pieris AG (Munich, Germany) and Pepscan Therapeutics (Lelystad, Netherlands) today announced the commencement of a research collaboration aimed at identifying Anticalins(R) specific for G-Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) and their development as therapeutic candidates.
Pieris has pioneered Anticalins(R) as next generation targeted therapeutics with clear advantages over monoclonal antibodies, while Pepscan has developed CLIPS(TM) technology to yield immunogens targeting functional epitopes on proteins. Through this newly announced collaboration, the companies aim to combine and apply their respective technologies to the discovery and development of novel Anticalins(R) able to modulate GPCR function in disease.
GPCRs form one of the most important classes of drug target, yet for many of these receptors, no pharmacologically active small molecule drugs have been identified. Biotherapeutics provide an intriguing alternative if they can be selectively targeted to functional epitopes, yet monoclonal antibodies modulating GPCR action have to date proven technically challenging. Pepscan's CLIPS(TM) technology has the distinct advantage of selectively identifying functional mimics of the extracellular portions of GPCRs which are fundamental in biology. Such mimics will be used by Pieris to select Anticalins(R) with disease modifying potential.
"Pieris has successfully isolated and characterised high potency Anticalins(R) against structurally diverse functional epitopes on a wide range of medically relevant proteins", said Dr Andreas Hohlbaum, Director of Science and Preclinical Development at Pieris. "Incorporating Pepscan's CLIPS(TM) technology into our selection and screening process now allows us to discover Anticalins(R) with high affinity and selectivity for specific GPCRs".
Dr Rob Meloen, Chief Scientific Officer of Pepscan Therapeutics commented: "Functional binding proteins directed against GPCRs are in great demand as disease-targeting agents. This collaboration allows Pepscan to apply its protein mimicry technology to GPCRs for the identification of Anticalins(R) with therapeutic potential".
Source: Pieris AG