Partnership expands spectrum of Secarna’s capabilities for the development of targeted ASOs beyond antibodies and sugar molecules

New platform capabilities extend the reach of Secarna’s antisense approaches, potentially offering new treatment options for a wider range of diseases

MARTINSRIED, GERMANY, and OXFORD, UK, 28 May 2024 – Secarna Pharmaceuticals GmbH & Co. KG (Secarna), a leading independent European antisense drug discovery and development company, and Orbit Discovery Ltd. (Orbit), a leader in the discovery of therapeutic peptide hits, today announced that they have entered into a collaboration to discover and develop peptide-based targeted antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) therapeutics.

The collaboration will leverage Orbit’s expertise and bead-based peptide display engine for the identification, screening, and selection of cyclic peptides specific to a wide range of disease targets, to be paired with Secarna’s ASO molecules. The addition of cyclic peptides to Secarna’s proprietary ASO discovery and development platform will expand its therapeutic spectrum, positioning it to develop targeted antisense assets beyond modalities such as antibodies and sugar molecules, like GalNAc.

“We are very pleased to embark on this collaboration with Orbit Discovery, as the team’s expertise in peptide discovery and development will further enhance our capabilities for the development of targeted antisense therapeutics”, said Konstantin Petropoulos, CBO of Secarna Pharmaceuticals. “We look forward to working with Orbit to expand both the therapeutic potential and universe of targeted ASO therapeutics with highly specific, potent, safe and convenient therapeutic options available for patients who urgently need them.”

Orbit’s peptide discovery services enable the screening of large libraries of peptides through the combination of DNA-encoded libraries and bead-based presentation. The proprietary technology is uniquely equipped to address soluble targets and targets in situ, both on and in cells, allowing for faster discovery times of relevant peptide leads based on affinity screens and/or functional screens.

The collaboration not only strengthens Secarna’s ability to create targeted antisense therapeutics, paired to cyclic peptides, but will also extend the reach of antisense approaches, potentially offering new treatment options for a wider range of diseases.

“Together with Secarna, we are excited to address the growing need for effective and highly specific targeted therapeutics, focused on enabling new options for the way innovative ASO therapies are delivered”, said Dr. Neil Butt, Chief Executive Officer, Orbit Discovery. “This collaboration is further validation of our expertise in the discovery of targeting peptide conjugates, and adds to our growing portfolio of partners that share our goal of delivering a generation of therapeutics with lower toxicity and better tissue specificity that will ultimately be safer and more effective for patients globally.”


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