The company’s technology platform has been developed under the direction of Prof. Laszlo Vigh and his colleagues. Based on this technology platform LipidArt has been developing a molecular library of proprietary compounds that are able to selectively modulate heat shock protein (Hsp) function.
Most of the Hsps are molecular chaperones which play a central role in the protein quality control and are indispensable to normal cellular functions. They promote folding of nascent proteins or refolding/degradation of damaged proteins; protect aggregation and/or solubilize protein aggregates. Their cellular amount changes during aging and/or when cells are coping with stresses ranging from hypoxia, inflammation, infections, idiopathic diseases to environmental pollutants.
The major heat-shock proteins are grouped according to their molecular weight (Hsp 100, Hsp 90, Hsp70, Hsp60, and the "small Hsps", sHsps). Of them, the Company is focusing on Hsp72 and Hsp27. Various Hsp72 inducers have been approved for clinical trials against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Type 2 diabetes, metastatic melanoma, etc. Delocalization of Hsp72 from the cytoplasm to the surface of cell membranes may mark cancer cells as targets to natural killer cells (NK cells). Small Hsps (sHsps) including Hsp27 have strong cytoprotective properties. Their inhibition is an important target in pharmacological therapies to cancer, while their upregulation may prevent liver damage or protein misfolding occurring e.g., in Alzheimer’s disease.
The Company is developing co-modulators. The term “HSP co-modulating activity” refers to the action of our drug candidates that do not modulate stress response by themselves but are able to modify it in the presence of mild stress or pathophysiological conditions. Chaperone co-modulators act like “smart drugs” by selective interactions with only those cells, which are under acute or chronic stress.
Lead candidates of our molecular library have demonstrated promising efficacy in long term animal models of Alzheimer’s diseasein vivo as well as in in vitro and in vivo tumour models.