Design and Characterization of Feldan Shuttle Peptides and Derivatives as Pulmonary Delivery Agent

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Principal Investigator:

David Guay / Feldan Therapeutics

Co-Investigators:

Frédéric Couture / TransBio Tech

Project of $1,363,590 over 2 years

Supported by CQDM through:

Ministère de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et de l’Énergie du Québec (MEIE)

And by co-funding partners:

Feldan Therapeutics, Amgen Canada

The project in details:

Challenge:  Lung diseases are one of the leading causes of death and disability in the world,  heightened since the COVID-19 pandemic. To be functional, most therapeutic molecules need to enter lung cells, but they rarely do so on their own. Airway is a natural barrier that protects the lungs against environmental threats, a characteristic which also prevents many drugs from reaching their target and that has led multiple clinical trials to fail. In some specific cases of lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis (CF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, the mucus accumulated in airways poses an additional challenge for drugs to reach lung cells. Therefore, a drug delivery agent well tailored for the lung environment is required to efficiently bring drugs into lung cells.

Solution: To overcome these challenges and deliver therapeutic molecules to patient lungs, Feldan Therapeutics has developed the Feldan Shuttle, a peptide-based technology that enables the introduction of various compounds into cells, including those lining the airway. To translate the research to lung disease treatments, Feldan’s technology needs to be further characterized and optimized. This project aims to 1) characterize the delivery technology in the specific context of lung environment, 2) further optimize the Shuttle peptides for lung applications, and 3) verify that the therapeutic molecules delivered to lung cells execute their desired functions.

Expected Achievements /Impacts:  It is expected that this project will lead to a significant improvement of the Feldan Shuttle technology and the generation of a more efficient and innovative delivery agent, specifically tailored for drug delivery to lungs. The information obtained from this project has the potential to enable the development of new treatments to patients with different lung diseases, including but not limited to CF, COPD and asthma. This research has the potential to benefit patients in the province of Quebec and worldwide.

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