With our tandem drug discovery engines, we are building a robust pipeline of Helicon therapeutics, with our lead programs targeting the most elusive drivers of cancer.
Shaping the future of precision medicine.
FogPharma is pioneering a new class of drugs to address the limitations of today’s precision medicines and achieve universal druggability.
We’ve learned from nature that α-helices in proteins are critically important for mediating their interactions with other proteins, and can also endow proteins with unique features, like the ability to embed themselves in cellular membranes.
At FogPharma, we’ve developed Helicons™ based on this privileged α-helix and used our innovative discovery engine to discover novel therapeutics against some of the most relevant and historically difficult-to-target disease proteins.
Helicons are designed to combine the cell-permeability and broad tissue distribution of traditional small molecule drugs with the high specificity, broad target accessibility and rapid discovery arc of monoclonal antibody drugs.
Our technology is centered on constraining short chains of amino acids — polypeptides — in a specific folded shape known as an α-helical conformation, which confers upon them unique drug-like properties. The α-helical fold intrinsically cloaks the polarity of the peptide backbone, allowing sufficiently hydrophobic peptides to cross membranes and enter cells.
In addition to aiding cell entry, this cloaking also allows Helicons to evade rapid renal clearance and achieve long plasma and tissue residence times, providing pharmacokinetic profiles that enable sustained target coverage. The α-helical fold also prevents recognition by both proteases and the MHC proteins that are required for immune recognition, resulting in both greater stability and suppressed immunogenicity.
α-helices are able to display a diverse array of sidechains along an extended interface, which allows them to bind many “undruggable” target proteins that are out of reach for small molecule drugs.
This presentation of functional domains from a common scaffold is analogous to antibodies, except that the Helicon scaffold is hyper-minimized and capable of entering cells.
Democratizing Drug Discovery
FogPharma’s approach aims not only to discover novel polypeptide therapeutics against the most elusive disease targets, but also to dramatically accelerate the speed and scalability of drug discovery compared to many of today’s standard processes.
Our multiplexed, tandem discovery engines integrate cutting-edge technologies such as directed evolution, proprietary α-helix conformational hyperstabilization chemistry, highly multiplexed drug optimization technology, analytical and predictive data science including machine learning and deep learning, structure-based drug discovery and multiscale manufacturing.
Using our tandem discovery engines, FogPharma’s scientists are able to design, synthesize and evaluate thousands of new Helicons each week in both biochemical and cell-based assays, progressing early hits into leads in a matter of months.
Our aspiration is to push our multiplexing technology to its limits, and build the world’s fastest and most powerful drug discovery engine – one which can be deployed to address the needs of human medicine at an unprecedented scale.