Latest Apollo Projects
Small molecule inhibitors of CRP
By Richard Butt
Apollo is partnering with Professor Sir Mark Pepys FRS (Director, Wolfson Drug Discovery Unit, Centre for Amyloidosis and Acute Phase Proteins, University College London) to develop small molecule inhibitors of C-reactive protein (CRP). The project is based on Professor Pepys’s seminal work demonstrating that binding of CRP to dead and damaged cells exacerbates tissue injury via activation of the complement system. The requirement for both CRP and complement have been independently confirmed by several different groups in a variety of inflammatory, infectious and ischaemic models, indicating their relevance to a wide range of clinical conditions. The key role of CRP was firmly established by Pepys’s demonstration that the enhanced damage is completely abrogated in experimental in vivomodels by his prototype compound designed to inhibit CRP binding. Based on these findings and expertise, Apollo is now collaborating with Prof Pepys to conduct a drug discovery programme that aims to deliver therapeutic small molecule inhibitors of CRP.
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