Proteome Research Expands with New Company Vividion Therapeutics
ARCH Venture Partners and Versant Ventures today announced the launch of Vividion Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on developing innovative therapeutics that treat major unmet clinical needs using the first platform for proteome-wide ligand and target discovery. ARCH and Versant co-led today’s $50 million Series A financing and were joined by founding investor Cardinal Partners.
Vividion Therapeutics has advanced a novel drug discovery platform that applies chemical proteomics to expand the druggable proteome and address difficult targets to bring new, transformative treatments to patients with serious illnesses. Making accessible the broad set of proteins expressed in human cells, the company’s cutting edge platform was spun out of the lab of Ben Cravatt, Professor at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif.
In conjunction with the financing, Tom Daniel will join the Board as Executive Chairman. “This Series A financing reflects deep commitment to Vividion Therapeutics’ approach to transform chemical drug discovery and development,” stated Dr. Daniel. “The founders, experienced team and platform are ruthlessly focused on the accelerated delivery of impactful drugs to serve patients. The platform expands the definition of druggability on mechanism in serious illnesses, while delivering new routes to address highly validated disease targets.”
Conventional drug discovery is target-centric; a compound library is screened using a target-specific assay and high-affinity binding ligands are optimized to develop a drug candidate. This approach is limited, as research is performed in artificial systems that fail to account for native protein structure, context and function. Further, conventional target-specific assays are applied to a narrow subset of the proteome and selectivity is assessed later in development. In contrast, Vividion Therapeutics assesses with high precision and broad coverage protein-drug candidate interactions in native biological systems. This eliminates artefacts and creates proteome-wide drug interaction maps for simultaneous target engagement and global selectivity profiling.
Through novel chemistry, Vividion Therapeutics’ platform allows efficient, accelerated optimization of hit fragments into drug candidates. The company has a robust intellectual property estate that includes the assignment of numerous, heretofore unrecognized, druggable sites in the human proteome. “The Vividion Therapeutics’ platform allows human biology to fundamentally drive the selection of drug targets and to create entry points for targets previously considered to be undruggable,” said Kristina Burow, Managing Director at ARCH. “The team at Vividion Therapeutics has created a novel platform based on chemical proteomics and modern synthetic chemistry that will radically expand the druggability of the human proteome. We believe this will lead to innovative therapeutics that have the ability to significantly benefit patients.”
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MIT researchers have developed a cryptographic system that could help neural networks identify promising drug candidates in massive pharmacological datasets, while keeping the data private. Secure computation done at such a massive scale could enable broad pooling of sensitive pharmacological data for predictive drug discovery.