ImmuPharma PLC (LON: IMM), the specialist drug discovery and development company has today announced that on 25 February 2019, the peer reviewed research journal ‘Nature Communications’ published a fundamental scientific publication on the proprietary technology Urelix™ from UREkA Sarl, ImmuPharma’s subsidiary.
Ureka, based at the IECB in Bordeaux, France, is carrying out research into novel peptide molecules to generate drug candidates for many diseases. The publication describes for the first time the unique properties of oligourea foldamers as a tool to improve the pharmaceutical properties of peptides. Further improvements not yet described here are related to more focused medical indications. One of the first focus areas has been GLP-1 analogues for the treatment of Type II diabetes and NASH (Non-Alcoholic-Steato-Hepatitis) as proof of concept for Ureka’s technology.
Further applications of the Urelix™ technology include protein/protein interactions, notably in cancer, and improvement of marketed efficacious peptides allowing additional long lasting patent protection, paving the way for a life cycle management franchise. Novel patented technologies are also currently implemented to cover other aspects of the improvement of peptides including potential oral delivery.
The publication was entitled: “Peptide-oligourea hybrids analogue of GLP-1 with improved action in vivo” and was authored by a number of researchers working within Ureka including Dr Robert Zimmer, ImmuPharma’s Chief Scientific Officer and Dr Sébastien R. Goudreau, Head of Research at Ureka.
Introduction to the Publication
Peptides have gained so much attention in the last decade that they are now part of the main strategies, with small molecules and biologics, for developing new medicines. Despite substantial progress, the successful development of peptides as drugs still requires a number of limitations to be addressed, including short in vivo half-lives and poor membrane permeability.
Commenting, Dr Robert Zimmer, ImmuPharma plc’s Chief Scientific Officer, said:
“I am very proud of the achievement of the research team in Ureka since it started in 2014, having built a team of skilled people and expanded our collaboration with the CNRS, developing an exciting technology backed by a strong patent portfolio. As such, a pleasing validation of years of research by our scientific team and collaborators, giving us further confidence in the long term potential of our Ureka platform.”
Commenting, Dimitri Dimitriou, ImmuPharma’s Chief Executive Officer, said:
“Natural peptides play key roles in human biological processes and are effective and selective signaling molecules that bind to specific receptors on cells. Using natural peptides as drugs is not so effective because they are quickly broken down. To put it simply, our technology overcomes these challenges and represents an intelligent way to design novel drugs. The global peptide therapeutics market achieved sales of $30 billion in 2018.”