PeptiDream, Inc., said on Tuesday that a collaboration with the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science led to the development of a new macrocyclic peptide inhibitor to treat multiple influenza strains.
The institute was formed in 2008 and is funded by the Japanese government. It uses a broad-based approach to discover novel influenza treatments. PeptiDream used its proprietary Peptide Discovery Platform System to identify the inhibitors through a peptide-based approach.
"We have been working for some time to develop an antibody therapeutic to treat influenza targeting the HA protein and PeptiDream provided an attractive alternative by developing a peptide therapeutic capable of recognizing antigenic regions that conventional antibodies cannot reach because of their significantly larger size," Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science Director of Viral Infectious Disease Project Michinori Kohara said. "iHA-24 was found to exhibit inhibition activity equal to or even higher than that of the current neuraminidase inhibitors. In addition we showed that iHA-24 could effectively inhibit the pandemic H1N1 2009 strain of which some variants were resistant to neuraminidase therapeutics. These exciting findings establish peptide therapy as new anti-viral agents for the treatment of influenza."
Relenza and Tamiflu, two frequently used therapeutics, are neuraminidase enzyme inhibitors, and are only effective shortly after exposure to a virus. The drugs are less effective against new strains of influenza.
"We believe our macrocylic peptides represent an exciting new approach to more effectively treating influenza virus and also toward the prevention of future influenza outbreaks," PeptiDream CEO Kiichi Kubota said. "In collaboration with Dr. Kohara's team we are excited to start preclinical testing in monkeys with the aim of bringing these peptides into human testing in 2015. This program represents one of the many exciting discovery and development programs progressing at PeptiDream and we would like to thank Dr. Kohara and the staff at the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science for all of their efforts."