Potential breakthrough therapy for cancer based on Pepscan’s CLIPS technology

Lelystad, 6 July 2017 – Pepscan, the Dutch biotech company specialized in protein mimicry for the discovery of therapeutics peptides, announced today important progress with a drug development program based on its proprietary CLIPS technology.

A team of Bicycle Therapeutics in the UK applied Pepscan’s CLIPS technology to identify a bicyclic CLIPS peptide that selectively binds to a protein (MT1-MMP) present on tumor cells. They subsequently linked a toxin payload to the high affinity bicyclic peptide, to create a ‘Bicycle Drug Conjugate (BDC)’. The compound, codenamed BT1718, appears to penetrate tumors rapidly. Because of its peptidic nature, BT1718 can be rapidly cleared through the kidney, which minimizes toxicity relating to payload mediated gastrointestinal and liver toxicity. Bicycle Therapeutics reported superior efficacy of BT1718 to standard of care controls in multiple preclinical patient and cell-derived mouse xenograft models.

In the course of 2017, BT1718 will advance to the first stage of clinical testing in human patients; Cancer Research UK, the largest cancer charitable organization in the UK, will sponsor and fund the upcoming Phase 1 study.

Wim Mol, CEO of Pepscan commented: “We are very pleased with the great progress made by Bicycle Therapeutics with their CLIPS based lead program aimed at a new therapy for the treatment of cancer. It confirms the potential of bicyclic ‘2-CLIPS’ peptides as a new generation of biotherapeutics, offering antibody-like affinity and selectivity in a small, fully synthetic molecule. Pepscan is open to work with other companies interested in applying the CLIPS technology for the discovery of novel bicyclic 2-CLIPS peptides for therapeutic or diagnostic applications”.

Source: Website Bicycle Therapeutics, accessed June 26, 2017.