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Novel Drug Candidates

The pharmaceutical industry is constantly searching for new ways to modulate disease processes. One “holy grail” approach has been the manipulation of intracellular protein-protein interactions. In the mid 1990’s, academic researchers discovered a new class of compounds, which they called stapled peptides, that showed promise in solving this problem. The scientists generated validating data, but synthesizing intra-cellularly stable and high efficacy compounds proved extremely difficult until Dr. Grubbs’ metathesis technology provided the manufacturing solution.

By 2007, stapled peptides’ potential had been sufficiently validated to support the creation of a new company for technology commercialization. Materia and the new company’s founding management team structured an innovative commercial license agreement, and Aileron Therapeutics was born. Since its inception, the company has continued proof-of-concept work that has, in turn, attracted significant interest from big pharma. In 2009, the company raised $40M in a Series D funding from venture funds associated with GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Eli Lilly and Roche. More recently the company signed a $1.1 billion deal with Roche. For more information, visit Aileron.