Indi Molecular® and Sigma-Aldrich® Establish Collaboration to Explore Use of PCC Technology in Biological Tools
Press Release | 17 December 2014
CULVER CITY, CA — Indi Molecular, the maker of a synthetic replacement for monoclonal antibodies, today announced that it has entered into a co-development agreement with Sigma-Aldrich to explore the use of Indi Molecular’s PCC technology with Sigma-Aldrich’s line of biological tools. PCC (protein catalyzed capture) agent technology is a breakthrough process that produces synthetic peptide molecules capable of binding interactions that are equivalent or superior to molecular antibodies. Current systems employ antibody-based biological tools that are used to capture proteins and enable highly sensitive detection. The joint research and development project will explore the use of PCCs to specifically interact with proteins.
“We strongly believe that PCC technology will play an important role in building the next generation of biological tools,” said Albert A. Luderer, Ph.D., CEO, Indi Molecular. “This announcement represents a vote of confidence in PCCs – a new class of rationally designed small molecules with superior overall performance to molecular antibodies. We are delighted to be working with Sigma-Aldrich.”
Indi Molecular, which raised $1.8 million in seed funding last year, has also received grants from the Department of Defense and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Terms of the agreement between Indi Molecular and Sigma-Aldrich were not disclosed.
“Indi’s PCC technology is a promising technology that we believe may play an important role in designing cutting-edge biological tools,” said Patrick Sullivan, Ph.D., Vice President, Research & Development at Sigma-Aldrich. “We look forward to working with Indi to explore applications of these molecules with Sigma-Aldrich’s offering.”
PCC agents are molecules designed to exhibit the attractive features of monoclonal antibodies, plus additional features that can enable applications in the commercial spaces of in vivo imaging, therapeutics, in vitro diagnostics and biological tools. PCCs have several advantages over antibodies, including lower cost, faster development and greater specificity.
PCC agents are comprised of short chain peptide molecules, each of which contributes binding affinity and selectivity characteristics towards a protein of interest. A differentiating aspect of the PCC agent technology is that the protein target itself provides a catalytic scaffold for assembling and coupling the short chain peptides – choosing across very large peptide libraries to find only those ligands that couple onto its surface in a highly selective fashion.
About Indi Molecular
Indi Molecular is an emerging life sciences company that is developing a synthetic class of diagnostic and therapeutic agents with antibody-like properties: protein-catalyzed capture agents. PCCs were created in collaboration with the California Institute of Technology using “click chemistry,” a synthetic process that allows scientists to permanently join (“click”) together molecular components with unusual precision and stability. PCCs offer the promise of superior stability, lower cost and faster creation compared to monoclonal antibodies, the current standard for identifying biomarkers in most diagnostics platforms – and in many therapeutic uses.
The company launched as a spinout from its parent company Integrated Diagnostics (Indi) in 2013 with a $1.8 million seed round led by InterWest Partners together with several angel investors. For more information visit www.IndiMolecular.com
Sigma-Aldrich is a trademark of Sigma-Aldrich Co. LLC, registered in the US and other countries.