RAPS derived from the human virobiome deliver unique therapeutic properties
Instead of looking outside of the body, we believe the smart way of looking for new medicines is by learning from the body and from molecules that exist in the body. Just like the body’s bacterial microbiome, viruses are a source of immune modifying proteins and peptides. Therefore, our peptide technology is derived from what we call the body’s “Virobiome”.
As these “viral” immune modifying peptides evolved to function within the intact host immune system, they are both highly potent and have a nuanced, receptor bias that modulates multiple biological effects that would be difficult, if not impossible, to design or discover by typical drug screening methods. The peptides we create have the highly desired pharmacologic property of being partial antagonists, as they balance excess immune responses without completely shutting them down, and activate repair pathways.
We call our peptides “RAPs” to indicate their receptor mediated actions that modulate a cluster of innate immune HIV chemokine receptors (CCR2/5/8,CXCR4). Blocking these receptors has been shown to stop the neurotoxic effects of microglial and astrocyte activation, protect synapses and dendritic arbor, block the neuronal damage that underlies pain, epilepsy and seizures, and reduce the brain damage of ischemic stroke and traumatic brain injury. The 2nd generation stabilized clinical octapeptide “DAPTA”, sometimes called Peptide T, improved brain imaging in Neuro-AIDS (Villemagne, 1996), and restored cognitive function in the more impaired patients in multiple controlled clinical trials for Neuro-AIDS endpoints (Bridge et al., Heseltine et al., Kosten et al.). More recent studies using other CCR5 antagonists (maraviroc) show similar effects. CCR2/CCR5 is a validated target for reversing dementia, recovery after stroke, and brain injury (Joy, 2019). Microglial activation causes loss of synapses, and when blocked, as shown in the image here for Peptide T/DAPTA, promotes synapse formation, restoration of dendritic arbor, and behaviors (Hill, 1993), and Joy, op. cit., above.
The 2nd generation DAPTA nasal spray (non-oral) peptide has been shown to be safe and efficacious in Phase 2 trials to reverse cognitive and memory deficits and improve PET brain scans. Third generation oral Receptides have been created, proof of concept efficacy in animal models published, and these Receptides will be advanced into clinical testing for efficacy in the neuro-inflammatory conditions neuropathic pain, dementia and brain injury.