Jerusalem, March 16 2022 - Terrapeutics Pharma (“Terrapeutics”) and the Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS) are pleased to announce that they have reached a cooperation agreement to co-develop novel natural products that will be the basis for new drugs in two of the most challenging drug targets that are considered the “holy grail” of the pharmaceutical industry. The HIPS is a joint institution of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) and Saarland University.
Some of the most devastating diseases, such as infections with antibiotic resistant bacteria and RAS-driven cancers (pancreatic, colon, and more), are currently undruggable despite detailed knowledge of the underlying molecular mechanisms. While industry leaders agree that small bioactive molecules produced by microorganisms have a tremendous potential to solve this therapeutic challenge, current methodologies can test only 0.1% of their potential. The staggering 99.9% are unexplored and considered "dark matter" to pharma companies.
Under this collaboration, Terrapeutics will utilize its ground breaking technology to screen and select microorganisms that produce small molecule inhibitors targeted against resistant bacteria and oncogenic RAS. HIPS will utilize its expertise to isolate, characterize and optimize the newly discovered novel molecules for their use in humans.
Dr. Ariel Werman CSO & Co-Founder of Terrapeutics said: “This agreement represents an important milestone in Terrapeutics road to become a world leader in natural molecule-based drug discovery, focusing on undruggable targets. Our revolutionary technology, enables us to look at the 99.9% fraction of the naturally produced molecules that the pharmaceutical industry is blind to, and rapidly, selectively and accurately pick microorganisms that produce molecules that respond to specific drug targets. It is as if we are performing a high throughput screening against a specific drug target, using nature as our library of compounds”
Mr. Eddie Sadan CEO & Co-Founder of Terrapeutics added that “this is a strategic engagement with a world leading research institute in the field of natural molecules for Pharmaceutical use that leverages our innovative approach to this field together with HIPS outstanding capabilities and knowledge to solve two of the biggest challenges the pharmaceutical industry faces”.
Prof. Dr. Rolf Muller, Managing Director at the HIPS, commented: “We are intrigued to jointly evaluate the potential of Terrapeutics technology for the isolation of bacteria producing specific natural products. If we can manage to specifically isolate those bacteria that make the compounds we are looking for, we can skip a very time- and cost-intensive part of the usual drug development process. This would bring us a big step forwards in the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and other diseases threatening global human health.”
Terrapeutics is a drug discovery startup that developed a revolutionary technology which screens the full potential of naturally produced molecules and allows selecting a specific drug-producing microorganism from a vastly complex environment.Using synthetic biology, the company challenges the resident bacteria in their natural environment so that its community's survival depends on the synthesis of an inhibitor to a drug target of our choice. Terrapeutics' technology swiftly identifiesthese microbes and their produced molecules. Its powerful methodology leads to the discovery of novel scaffolds that inhibit the most challenging drug targets, including what are considered “undruggable” in a rapid manner.