New VIB start-up Aelin Therapeutics secures 27 M€ to exploit its proprietary Pept-in™ protein knockdown platform

11 December 2017
Aelin Therapeutics, a privately held Belgian biotherapeutics company, announces today that it has secured a 27 M€ investment to pioneer a novel modality in drug development in order to create a completely new class of antibiotics and first-in-class therapeutics against high-value undruggable human targets. The technology, branded Pept-ins™, harnesses the power of protein aggregation to specifically induce functional knockdown of a target protein. The company will use the proceeds of the 27 M€ Series A financing, to bring a first Pept-in product to the clinic.
 
Aelin Therapeutics is founded by VIB and its partner universities KU Leuven, VUB and UGent, based on the groundbreaking work of renowned structural biologists Prof Joost Schymkowitz and Prof Frederic Rousseau. The company is based on a very comprehensive preclinical Proof of Concept data package illustrating different applications of the technology such as in bacteria and cancer cells, but also in fungi, viruses and plant cells, with publications in high impact journals including Science. The Pept-in technology allows for the rational design of novel biotherapeutics and differentiates itself from any other therapeutic modality through its unique mode of action, its designability and intracellular target space out of reach for typical small molecule or antibody approaches.
 
Building on the solid science and a convincing data set, Aelin Therapeutics has succeeded in raising 27 M€, bringing together a strong group of well-reputed investors consisting of LSP (the Netherlands), PMV (Belgium), Novartis Venture Fund (Switzerland), Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (Germany) and Fund+ (Belgium). These resources enable the company to build on its platform capabilities and develop its first products until the end of initial clinical development.


Scientific publications
De novo design of a biologically active amyloid, Gallardo et al., Science 2016
Protein aggregation as an antibiotic design strategy, Bednarska N et al., Molecular Microbiology 2016


Joost Schymkowitz en Frederic Rousseau (VIB-KU Leuven)