Israeli drug and diagnostic product discovery company Compugen Ltd. today announced the development and validation of its Intracellular Drug Delivery (IDD) discovery platform for identification of cell penetrating peptides. The company also reported that as part of the validation process for the new platform, more than twenty novel peptides demonstrated the predicted cell penetrating properties in initial experimental validation studies.

The delivery of biological molecules across selectively permeable cell membranes and into the cells represents a major challenge for the pharmaceutical industry. Important classes of drugs now under development need to enter cells to be effective. Since most are unlikely to cross the surrounding protective membrane of cells on their own, they will require some type of delivery methodology. Cell penetrating peptides may be one solution.

Compugen’s newly developed intracellular drug delivery discovery platform enables the identification of novel peptide sequences that are predicted to have the potential to penetrate cell membranes. This new platform consists of various components from Compugen’s existing computational biology infrastructure and a series of proprietary machine learning algorithms specifically designed for this platform.

The use of peptides for human therapy is one of the fastest growing segments of pharmaceuticals. In order to take advantage of this trend, the company intends to integrate its intracellular drug discovery platform with its other therapeutic peptide discovery capabilities in order to create dual function peptides. These dual function peptides will be designed to both penetrate cell membranes and provide the required therapeutic intervention.

Zurit Levine, PhD, Compugen’s vice-president of research and development stated, “We expect our intracellular drug delivery discovery platform to play a key role in…providing the potential for dual function peptides thereby contributing to a new and fruitful era of intracellular approaches to therapy.”