ModPro AB is a biotechnology company located in Uppsala, specializing in the enhancement of small molecule and peptide candidate drugs and drugs. ModPro develops own CDs to the late preclinical and phase 1 level in the areas of diabetes and oncology, and collaborates with large pharmaceutical companies on projects in drug discovery and drug development in these and other indication areas. ModPro builds longterm relationships with pharmaceutical companies through collaborative projects, assisting in the rescue of small molecule projects at various stages of the drug development process, developing in house know how and competence as well as highly competent professional networks. ModPro is a chemical company, cell based as well as animal studies in own projects are carried out in collaborations with highly regarded academic partners.
ModPro has developed a unique and unprecedented chemical technology to enhance drug performance. New chemical entities with improved pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties are formed from small molecules and peptides of pharmaceutical interest. Dramatically increased affinities and selectivities for protein targets in combination with controlled biodistribution improves drug potency, effect duration and safety for the benefit of patient quality of life.
ModPro launched its first product on the market in 2007 in the area of diagnostics and has since entered into several commercial projects with international biotech and pharmaceutical companies as well as reagent companies. Joint scientific publications from projects in the pharmaceutical field of application are underway.
ModPro milestone achievements:
• In vitro affinities for protein targets increased 1000- to 10000-fold
• In vitro selectivities for homologous proteins where small molecules can not discriminate increased 10- to 100-fold
• Potency in vivo increased 1000-fold
• Improved biodistribution in vivo of multikinase inhibitor, eliminating active substance in non-targeted organs
• Increased effect duration in vivo
• Increased survival times in serum of peptide drugs
Key ModPro applications:
• Increasing potency and effect duration of drugs
• Increasing survival times in serum of peptide drugs
• Rescuing drugs that failed due to drug related toxicity or poor efficacy
• Improving drug biodistribution, reducing severe adverse side effects
• Medical imaging and radioimmunotherapy
• Target validation
• High throughput screening
The ModPro technology offers interesting IP opportunities. ModPro AB enjoys full freedom to operate.
The ModPro technology
ModPro has developed a proprietary set of sixteen polypeptide sequences designed to be covalently linked to small organic molecules and peptides. The hybrid molecules show dramatically enhanced affinities and selectivities for protein targets in comparison with those of the small molecules.
The key to enhanced performance is the design of the ModPro peptides and the introduction of a chemical bond, a linker, between the polypeptide and the small molecule/short peptide which provides a powerful thermodynamic advantage. The interactions between the polypeptide and the target protein can be few and fairly weak and still provide considerably enhanced overall binding performance. A polypeptide is capable of a large number of interactions with a target protein due to the many functional groups of amino acids, and only a few are required for enhanced binding and recognition of each target protein. The concept is thus combinatorial in nature in spite of the fact that only sixteen sequences are used. For each target protein a different subset of polypeptide amino acids selectively provides the additional binding energy.
The flexible nature of the polypeptides allow them to effectively search protein surfaces and identify unique and addressable positions outside of the active sites or binding pockets. Opportunities for enhanced selectivities and affinities are identified that are not found by traditional medicinal chemistry methods.
Working with ModPro
Small organic molecules/peptides identified in the laboratory of the client/collaborator to have insufficient affinity/potency and selectivity (off-target effects) will be chemically modified based on available structural information and incorporated into ModPro peptides by ModPro scientists. In vitro evaluation will be carried out at ModPro before shipment to client/collaborator for evaluation in relevant assay systems. If appropriate, in-house strategies for optimization of hybrid molecules, also including peptidomimetic approaches, will be applied. After evaluation optimal hybrids will be selected and prepared on larger scale by ModPro for extensive studies in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo, in client/collaborator laboratory. Methods, results and strategies for chemical modification and analysis will be extensively communicated.
A large variety of bioanalytical methods are routinely applied at ModPro. ModPro has the capacity to prepare hybrid molecules on a g scale.
ModPro welcomes interest in collaborations on in-house drug development programs conducted at ModPro in oncology and diabetes.
Prof. Lars Baltzer, CEO
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