Start-up to study peptides that modulate gene expression

Peptide

HBC Immunology (a subsidiary of Hofseth BioCare) has secured seed capital financing of approximately $900,000 from external investors to commence preclinical animal trials with its patented peptides, FT-002 and FT-005.

These are analogues of peptides discovered by HBC in ProGo bioactive peptides, which modulate iron metabolism and have Qualified Health claims granted for this mode of action, verifying their safety and efficacy.

HBCI was established as a subsidiary of HBC earlier this year, with a focus on the discovery and development of peptides that normalise tumour micro-environments, resulting in the improved performance of immunotherapies and chemotherapies.

The first targeted indication is advanced prostate cancer, with the aim to move into earlier stages of the disease and ultimately to both improve patient quality of life and survival. Other potential cancer indications with ongoing in vitro work include breast and ovarian cancer.

HBCI’s CEO, Dr Bomi Framroze said: “HBCI is at the forefront of research in using peptides to modulate gene expression. Our first therapeutic target is resistant castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). We hope to reinvigorate the sensitivity of these tumours to standard AR inhibitors via modulation of the FTH1 gene within the tumour micro-environment.”

“Although we are just at the pre-clinical phase of drug development, we are expecting significant results within the next 12 months to validate this investment. The foundation of HBCI cements our position as market leaders in the field of marine peptides research by building on our unique Qualified Health claims targeting iron deficiency and antioxidant benefits and taking them to the next level into the pharma space,” added James Berger, CCO at HBC.”

Edited by Diana Spencer, Senior Digital Content Editor, Drug Discovery World

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