# Newly developed ImmunoPEC platform technology shows great potential
# Grant worth 700,000 Euros has been awarded to Belyntic
# 'Excellent news, exciting and important project! I look forward to working with Belyntic.'' - Prof. Dr. Leif E. Sander from Charité
Photo by Felix Alder
Belyntic, a Berlin-based chemistry-for-healthcare company, and developer of the Peptide Easy Clean (PEC) purification technology has been named a grant recipient by the Federal Agency for Disruptive Innovation SPRIN-D to use their platform technology for developing a peptide-based antiviral therapeutic vaccine against progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), caused by the JC virus.
The challenge titled "A Quantum Shift for New Anti-Viral Agents" is a part of the Federal Republic of Germany's initiatives to prepare for future pandemics and other deadly viruses.
Under the terms of the challenge, Belyntic has already secured 700,000 Euros for the first step and 12-month period of the project and aims to qualify for the upcoming stages over the subsequent two years to secure additional funding for the complete preclinical evaluation of their vaccine candidate.
SPRIN-D collaborates with research institutions, universities, and businesses with high innovation potential. In this particular grant, recipients are some of the most prestigious research institutions across Europe, including TU München, National Center for HIV / AIDS research (CNAIDS), and Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung.
The company focuses on developing peptide-based vaccines for Covid-19 and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), caused by the JC virus. The therapeutic PML vaccine will serve as the lighthouse project with the overall aim of building ImmunoPEC as a universal peptide vaccine platform technology.
Epitope-based peptide vaccines contain a precise selection of synthetic vaccine components and offer several more advantages over other forms of vaccines, such as safety, cost-effectiveness, and excellent producibility. The application, however, is hindered by challenges related to epitope identification and selection, the lack of immunogenicity, and a very short half-life in vivo.
"Belyntic has a unique advantage here'' says Dr. Oliver Reimann, co-founder of the company, ''we have already developed a groundbreaking peptide manufacturing technology called Peptide Easy Clean (PEC). It unlocks the potential for a new generation of self-adjuvant, long antiviral peptide vaccines."
''Naturally, when the corona crisis hit the world, the Belyntic team felt obligated to use PEC's abilities to help in the global fight against the pandemic.''
Since December 2020, Belyntic has been collaborating with University Hospital Bonn in a bid to develop a vaccine against Covid-19. It resulted in the development of ImmunoPEC. Initial preclinical data suggests ImmunoPEC can be a highly promising platform for generating effective treatment options quickly.
''We named this platform ImmunoPEC because of its application to epitope-based therapeutics, across various immunological indications,'' explains Dr. Nadja Berger, Lead scientist on the project, ''ImmunoPEC enables us to overcome the challenges related to peptide-based vaccines. First, it helps us generate a great number of AI-predicted peptide epitopes swiftly to select the best potential vaccine candidates. Modification with an adjuvant then turns it into a potent therapeutic with high immunogenicity and stability in-vivo. It's fast and efficient.''
The addition of NEC Corporation's proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) software will add considerable speed to the project. "We are delighted to contribute to the development of a therapeutic vaccine against progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) through the collaboration with Belyntic," comments Akira Kitamura, General Manager of NEC's AI drug development division.
A scientific roadmap has already been agreed upon between the project lead Belyntic, a team of scientists led by Prof. Dr. Leif E. Sander, a renowned infectiologist from the Charité University Medicine Berlin, and NEC Corporation.
About Belyntic GmbH:
Belyntic GmbH, founded in 2018, is a Chemistry-for-Healthcare company. Belyntic offers solutions for the development and production of peptide drugs based on their patent-pending PEC technology. The company's headquarters are located at the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM), Richard-Willstätter-Str. 11, 12489 Berlin, Germany.