Funding will enable accelerated development of unique Pept™-in-based cancer therapeutics
Leuven, BELGIUM – 9 July 2020 – Aelin Therapeutics NV, an emerging biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of breakthrough Pept-in™-based therapeutics with novel modes of action to treat cancer and serious infectious diseases, today announces that it has been awarded a €2.3 million research grant from Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO).This grant will serve to further develop unique Pept-ins that have been identified against an undruggable high-value target in oncology. The funding will also enable accelerated deployment of the technology platform in oncology, with the goal to cross-fertilize the growing pipeline of novel Pept-in™-based candidate drugs in oncology.
Aelin Therapeutics’ unique approach to drug discovery and development is based on its powerful, proprietary Pept-in™ technology platform, generating Pept-in™-based therapeutics against high-value targets that are difficult to address with traditional small molecule drugs or protein-based therapeutics.
Alexander Scheer, CSO of Aelin Therapeutics, commented: “We are very pleased with the financial support and recognition from VLAIO and their commitment to stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation in Flanders. Since our foundation end 2017, we have significantly invested in the build-out of our technology platform to generate novel therapeutics and we now have generated compelling data with multiple Pept-ins™ against a number of targets in oncology. The funding will allow us to progress towards preclinical development with our lead Pept-in molecule against an high-value undruggable target in oncology, and to further develop differentiating, novel mode of action candidate medicines and position Aelin Therapeutics as a true platform company with multiple shots on goal.”
About Aelin Therapeutics’ proprietary Pept-in™ technology platform
Aelin Therapeutics’ breakthrough Pept-in™ technology is a highly flexible and powerful platform that can be applied on any disease-related protein, representing a new paradigm in drug discovery and development to tackle diseases that are currently difficult to address with small molecule- and protein-based drugs. The technology is protected by a broad and strong IP portfolio, trade secrets and knowhow.
Active proteins fold into a three-dimensional structure during and after synthesis. However, some triggers, such as unfavorable environmental conditions or gene mutations, can disturb this folding process, resulting in the aggregation of proteins and thereby making them inactive.
Aggregation prone regions (APR) promote this aggregation process and have been identified inside almost all proteins. The Pept-in™ technology has been discovered and developed based on the observation that the protein aggregation process can be induced in almost any protein by using a synthetic peptide that contains a target protein APR.
Pept-ins™ can therefore functionally and selectively knock-out almost any protein, independent of structural or functional protein class, forming the basis of novel therapeutics against high-value undruggable targets to treat severe diseases with high unmet needs, including various types of cancer and infections.
About Aelin Therapeutics
Aelin Therapeutics is an emerging biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of breakthrough Pept-in™-based therapeutics with novel modes of action to address current high unmet needs in infectious diseases and oncology.
Based on its powerful technology platform, the Company is building a proprietary product pipeline of anti-infectives and anti-cancer drugs. To date, preclinical proofs-of-concept have been achieved in multiple disease areas and published in landmark papers such as Science and Nature.
Aelin Therapeutics was founded in 2017 as a spin-off from the VIB (Flanders Institute for Biotechnology) and its partner universities KU Leuven, VUB and UGent. The Company is backed by a syndicate of renowned life science investors comprising LSP (The Netherlands), PMV (Belgium), Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (Germany) and Fund+ (Belgium).
For further information, please contact:
Els Beirnaert, CEO
T: +32 (0)16 85 27 00
M: +32 (0)478 80 34 80
 Michiels et al. (2020) Reverse engineering synthetic antiviral amyloids, Nature commun 11 (2832). Khodaparast et al. (2018) Aggregating sequences that occur in many proteins constitute weak spots of bacterial proteostasis. Nat Commun 9(1), 866. Gallardo et al. (2016) De novo design of a biologically active amyloid. Science 354(6313), aah4949.