“Swiss-army” protein therapeutic platform
Akston uses a proprietary Fc-fusion platform to develop its therapeutic candidates, which can take advantage of many different biological mechanisms-of-action. This “Swiss-army” platform for multi-functional protein engineering supports tailored interaction with the immune system, delivery of customized agents for metabolic disease, and increased half-life. The fully-biologic therapeutics that result can be manufactured at scale using established techniques.
- Fc region selected for species-specificity
- Saccharides enhance or suppress immune interaction
- Insulin mutations and c-peptide composition control insulin receptor activity
- Proprietary modifications reduce immunogenicity
- Insulin can be replaced with another protein, e.g. SARS-CoV-2 RBD
- Linker moeity can be “tuned” for manufacturability
Candidate design and selection
Akston’s therapeutic designers make use of the platform’s ability to specifically tailor the different components of a moiety to optimize its performance and manufacturability. Bioactivity, half-life, interaction with the immune system, and other attributes may be affected by more than one component and how they are combined. Typically, many candidates are synthesized and tested in vitro and in small animal models before larger quantities of fewer candidates are tested more thoroughly. Once a group of promising candidates is found, variants of them can be designed, synthesized, and tested to optimize overall performance in a comparatively rapid and iterative process. This can significantly reduce development time and cost.
Therapies developed using the platform can be manufactured with the industry-standard techniques and equipment used for therapeutic antibody production. Because the key constituents used in the platform are so similar, knowledge gained from the production of one therapeutic may be used for others. Akston has used this to its advantage to be able to produce therapeutics that address a wide variety of disease conditions using the same production facility and analytical techniques.