Celgene invests in new drug company with technology developed at Scripps.
Protein drug company Vividion Therapeutics was launched in 2017 with a $50 million round of investments intended to aid the company in developing its protein platform technology. The technology comes from research conducted at Scripps by company founder Ben Cravatt and is aimed at making traditionally undruggable proteins, druggable.
The technology recently received a strong vote of support from Celgene; the company announced that it is investing $101 million in a research collaboration with Vividion Therapeutics. The collaboration will focus on the areas of oncology, inflammation and neurodegeneration.
The protein technology involves the use of fragment ligands attached to a class of chaperone molecules that react with the cysteine amino-acids in proteins to form strong covalent bonds. According to Vividion CEO Diego Miralles, previously of Johnson & Johnson (where he established the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centers and JLABS) the company’s technology allows researchers to look at the “real life of a cell that gives you a very differentiated and unique insight into how those proteins are behaving and how they are vulnerable to being drugged.” One important piece of information the technology provides is how proteins degrade, particularly for proteins that have not been accessible previously. As a result, it is possible to “drug the entire proteome in its natives state, and that is the transformational potential of Vividion.”