We believe the smart way of looking for new medicines is by learning from nature. We have observed that certain viruses have “learned” how to control host immunity in an elegant way that provides a balanced modulation of immunity without suppressing beneficial host immune function(s). Identifying such naturally-occurring receptor-targeting sequences that engage the human immune system provides a rational basis for drug development.
We have discovered, from HIV, innate immune modifying peptides that 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. Modeled on their viral counterparts, the peptides we create have the highly desired pharmacologic property of being partial antagonists that balance excess immune responses without completely shutting them down, while activating cellular repair processes.
We call our oral peptides Receptides to indicate their receptor mediated actions that modulate a cluster of innate immune chemokine receptors (CCR2/5/8,CXCR4). Chemokine receptors act on both immune cells and neurons to sculpt neuronal connections and synapses. Blocking these receptors has been shown to inhibit the neurotoxic effects of microglial and astrocyte activation to restore synapses and dendritic arbor to stop, even reverse, the dendritic damage that underlies dementia’s, neuropathies, brain injury, and possibly opioid use disorders.