A*STAR, MSD To Team Up On Macrocyclic Peptide Therapeutics

The two-year collaboration will focus on improving the delivery of macrocyclic peptides into cells.

AsianScientist (Jul. 19, 2016) – Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and American pharmaceutical company MSD have formed a two-year collaboration aimed at improving the delivery of macrocyclic peptides into cells.

Macrocyclic peptides are a diverse family of molecules that have the capacity to disrupt intracellular protein-protein interactions. These intracellular targets have traditionally been cast as ‘undruggable’ due to their lack of obvious binding sites for small molecules. Furthermore, they reside within cells, a location that shields them from antibody-based therapies.

Through this collaboration—involving scientists from MSD as well as A*STAR’s Bioinformatics Institute, Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology and the p53 Lab—the scientists hope to establish compound design principles that will enable macrocyclic peptides to be used in the treatment of human diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and metabolic disease.

“Therapeutic peptide research is gaining momentum and it is exciting to see multiple research institutes from A*STAR working together with a global leader in the pharmaceutical industry to build capabilities in this area,” said Professor Sir David Lane, chief scientist of A*STAR and director of the p53 lab.

“By collaborating with MSD, we are confident that we will be able to accelerate innovation and contribute to the growing peptide therapeutics market and improve treatments for a whole range of diseases.”


Source: A*STAR; Photo: Bioinformatics Institute.
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