Circle Pharma, Inc., a newly created, early-stage biotechnology company, today announced that it has received seed funding from Pfizer Inc. and QB3’s seed-stage venture fund, Mission Bay Capital, LLC, and has initiated two collaborations with Pfizer to develop cell permeable macrocyclic peptide therapeutics.
“We are very pleased to have launched Circle with the backing of Pfizer and Mission Bay Capital, and to have initiated two exciting collaborative projects with Pfizer,” said David J. Earp, J.D., Ph.D., Circle’s President and CEO. “In addition to these collaborations, Circle will be undertaking development work against our own therapeutic targets. We are open to additional collaborations with partners who share our excitement in the potential of permeable macrocyclic peptides, which, we believe, could be applicable to a large number of important therapeutic targets.”
Circle’s technology is based in part on research sponsored by Pfizer through an agreement with QB3.
About Macrocyclic Peptides
Macrocyclic peptides have the potential to provide access to therapeutic targets that are considered undruggable with conventional small molecule or biologic modalities. In particular, there is great interest in developing macrocycles to modulate protein-protein interactions, which play a role in almost all disease conditions, including cancer, fibrosis, inflammation and infection. However, the development of macrocyclic therapeutics has been limited to this point by the need for a greater understanding of how to design macrocycles with appropriate pharmacokinetics, cell permeability and oral bioavailability. Indeed, today, most clinical programs testing macrocyclic peptides are aimed at extracellular protein targets because of the challenge of identifying cell permeable macrocycles. The ability to design potent macrocycles with inherent permeability is expected to give access to a large number of important therapeutic targets that have been out of reach to this point.
Circle Pharma is an early stage biotechnology company applying proprietary computational design algorithms and innovative chemistry to develop cell permeable macrocycle peptide therapeutics against important clinical targets. It does this through an iterative, rational design process that deploys large virtual libraries of conformationally diverse macrocycle scaffolds selected for inherent permeability. The company was founded by Prof. Matt Jacobson, Ph.D. (U.C. San Francisco) and Prof. Scott Lokey, Ph.D. (U.C. Santa Cruz) and is headed by David J. Earp, J.D., Ph.D.
September 22, 2014, San Francisco