MIPS announces new collaboration with PureTech Health

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The Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) at Monash University has announced the licensing of a lymphatic drug targeting technology platform to clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company PureTech Health.

This technology has been developed by Professor Chris Porter’s group at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Bio-Nano Science and Technology (the CBNS) at MIPS. The MIPS inventors were Dr Tim Quach, Dr Sifei Han, Dr Luojuan Hu, Dr Natalie Trevaskis, Dr Jamie Simpson and Dr Porter.

The technology will be developed and progressed towards clinical trial by PureTech Health through a new subsidiary start-up, Glyph Biosciences, in collaboration with Dr Porter’s laboratory.

Named 'Glyph', the technology platform is aimed at harnessing the biology of the lymphatic system to develop novel therapeutics, including those that selectively target certain lymph nodes. It holds promise for the development of new medicines that are both more potent and less toxic to the liver, and have the potential to pave the way for new treatments for a range of conditions, from cancer to autoimmune disease.

“The lymphatic system is a vastly underexplored circulatory network that serves a fundamental role in maintaining physiological homeostasis and immune control,” said chief scientific officer of PureTech Health, Dr Joseph Bolen.

“The Glyph technology represents a major advancement in potentially enhancing transport and distribution of therapeutics via the lymphatic system and targeting of certain lymph nodes. By addressing the immune system at the sites of dysregulation and immune control, this novel approach has the potential to radically transform the treatment of serious disease,” he said.

By virtue of its architecture and distribution throughout the body, the lymphatic system potentially represents a key conduit for communicating signals at the intersection of the immune-gut-brain axis. The Glyph technology is designed to harness the biology of the lymphatic system and the endogenous trafficking of compounds through this network to develop novel drugs that bypass first-pass metabolism, improve oral bioavailability, and significantly lower the risk of liver toxicity.

In addition, the mesenteric lymph nodes, proximal to the gut, are exposed to a host of microbiome related species and serve an integral role in immune education and control. Harnessing the lymphatic pathway therefore potentially enables rational design of therapeutics to modulate the immune system, representing an innovative approach to treating a broad range of immunological disorders.

Through our work at Monash University, we have designed chemistries that potentially enable drugs to be preferentially and effectively transported through the endogenous pathways of lipid transport via the intestinal lymphatics in a controlled manner,” said Dr Porter.

“Our technology has been shown in pre-clinical experiments to achieve significant oral bioavailability of compounds through the avoidance of first-pass metabolism, and has the potential to significantly mitigate liver toxicity and to target immune tissues. I am excited to be working with PureTech Health to rapidly advance this potentially disruptive technology platform toward the development of novel therapeutics.”