Embracing the “Trial and Error” approach in drug discovery
March 13, 2014
BioEurope Spring 2014 – My Favourite Company Presentation
March 14, 2014
By Marija (Masha) Zecevic
Actogenix is a company in Belgium that develops new products based on proprietary technology for oral delivery of protein based therapeutics. Said this way, sounds like a lot of companies out there who are looking to deliver known compounds in a different way. On a second look though, I have to confess this is one of the most surprising technologies I have seen in a long time. It appears to be so powerful yet simple. It makes me wonder: why didn’t I think of it?
ActoGenix uses non pathogenic, food bacteria as a device programmed to secrete therapeutic proteins and peptides.
The platform is based on genetically modified Lactococcus lacti, the same bacteria that is required to turn milk into yoghut. The insertion of one or more genes enables the bacteria to produce and secrete proteins such as cytokines, hormones or antibody fragments. When formulated as coated capsules and given orally to patients, the live bacteria are released in the inflamed gut where they start secreting the therapeutic protein at the very site of disease.
Compared to Remicade, Humira or Cimzia, ActoBiotic technology can delivered biologics orally, act locally and cost as little as 50 cents per dose!
Two programs are currently in the clinic: AG013 has completed Phase 1 study and is ready for a Phase 2 trial to assess efficacy as treatment of oral mucositis; AG014 will start a Phase 2b trial treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients with anti-TNF later this year.
Maybe the treatment of inflamed GI tract will be as easy as drinking a yoghurt.