ASX listed biotech Phylogica has identified a next generation cell penetrating peptide that is four times more efficient at delivering a large drug cargo inside cell walls than its original biological product. The discovery was made as the company screens and validates its large library of peptides with a view to discovering even more new cell penetrating peptides. Work on this project will continue until February 2019.
Phylogica has identified a second generation cell penetrating peptide that is four times more efficient at delivering a large drug cargo inside a cell wall than its original cell penetrating peptide or “CPP”.
This is potentially a game changer for the ASX listed junior who has previously said that its original CPP is about 40 times more efficient at delivering a drug cargo than the industry gold-standard ‘Tat’ peptide.
CPPs could offer potentially unlimited opportunities for treating different diseases by acting essentially as a carrier pigeon for a range of different drug cargoes that have trouble breaching cell walls on their own.
The new discovery comes as the company progresses its screening and validation work on Phylogica’s large peptide library. The current program is expected to continue through until February 2019.
Significantly, the discovery comes after just 10% of the additional CPP candidates were validated via screening, raising the potential for more discoveries to be made.
This activity has also led to the discovery of a CPP that is two-fold more efficient than the original CPP and improved the identification of true CPPs as a percentage of the total number of peptides screened.
The discoveries neatly demonstrate the value of the Phylogica’s decision to triple the size of its peptide library in 2017.
At that time, the expansion was made in anticipation of the greater diversity and richness of the expanded libraries yielding more efficient CPPs, a goal that appears to have been at least partially realised with this week’s discovery.
Phylogica said it is now progressing the next generation CPPs into in-vivo models with this work expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2019.
The company’s original CPP has already proven its ability to deliver “Cre”, an enzyme routinely used in biological research – into lung, liver and kidney cells during animal experiments.
Mice treated with the company’s CPPs joined to a common antigen from the Herpes Simplex Virus during recent in vivo testing produced the greatest expansion in CD8+ T cells across all groups of treated mice, soundly beating the Tat CPP.