These new drug candidates come with several advantages over conventional biologic medicines, such as monoclonal antibodies
D5Pharma’s lead drug candidate is PEG-CCS13, a PEGylated single-stranded DNA aptamer that is a selective agonist for the inflammatory modulator, CD200R1, a glycoprotein receptor found on the surface of immune cells. CD200R1 acts as the receptor target for CD200-presenting cells during natural signalling processes that body invokes to dampen the immune response. PEG-CCS13 is a synthetic agonist for this receptor, acting much like an antibody, and enabling immune reactions to be brought under control by a novel mechanism that is distinct from today's commonly prescribed anti-TNF medicines. As a consequence of D5Pharma's unique selection approach, PEG-CCS13 is, moreover, a cross-reacting DNA aptamer that selectively recognizes both mouse and human targets, enabling direct bridging from pre-clinical to clinical studies. The addition of the PEGylation, a synthetic modification, allows PEG-CCS13 to be injected and maintained in the circulation for longer and more therapeutically relevant periods of time. This lead candidate has demonstrated efficacy in pre-clinical models of human inflammatory disease.