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OGI and MaRS Innovation invest in peptide therapeutics
Date:9/28/2011

Peptides and proteins have long been an attractive class of drug candidates because of their natural involvement in cellular processes and fewer potential side effects. Dr. Andrei Yudin, Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, has developed a new and effective process that makes linear peptides circular, which allows these molecules, called macrocycles, to enter cells more effectively and increase their stability compared to linear peptides. Given their advantageous properties, macrocycles are emerging as a new class of molecules with potential in drug development.

Dr. Yudin and his group's unique ability to efficiently cyclize a broad range of linear peptides provides the opportunity to build a diverse library of macrocycles as possible drug candidates. The Yudin group will build a targeted library of macrocyles and test it for important properties including cell permeability and stability. This compound library will enable researchers and pharmaceutical organizations to screen for biologically active structures against disease-relevant targets, with the ultimate goal of identifying novel therapeutic macrocycles for new drug development. Dr. Yudin will be working closely with pharmaceutical companies to build a library that will meet the needs of industry.

"This work has the potential to help change the face of drug development and expand the options available in the creation of new therapeutics," commented Dr. Mark Poznansky, President and CEO, OGI. "Dr. Yudin and his group are clearly poised to be key influencers in this area."

"We are delighted to receive the investment from OGI as we move closer to commercialization," commented Dr. Yudin. "Our initial endeavour to generate a library of compounds is based around fundamental properties of drug-like compounds. Our method of cyclizing peptides will allow us to grow our inventory of compounds to eventually compete on a global scale in this emerging ar
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Contact: Alastair Harris-Cartwright
aharriscartwright@ontariogenomics.ca
416-673-6582
Ontario Genomics Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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