Moerae’s Scientific Platform
Moerae is a leader in developing and delivering cell permeant peptide inhibitors of MK2, including a first-in-class inhaled therapy (MMI-0100) that is currently in clinical trials to support treatment of fibrotic and/or inflammatory disorders of the lung.
MK2 is a terminal kinase in the TGFβ/p38 stress-activated kinase pathway that has been implicated in a number of fibrotic and inflammatory disorders. Increasing evidence suggests that MK2 itself plays a role in fibrotic disease; MK2 activity is upregulated in a number of these conditions, including several of the pulmonary disorders for which MMI-0100 is being developed.
Moerae’s approach is to develop potent and specific cell-permeant peptide inhibitors of MK2, with the drug (cargo) coupled to a transduction domain (carrier) to facilitate rapid uptake by cells. Specificity of Moerae’s MK2 inhibitors is enhanced by targeting the unique MK2 substrate binding site rather than the ATP binding site that is common to many kinases. By varying the amino acid composition of cargo and carrier domains, a portfolio of MK2 inhibitors with distinct selectivity profiles has been created.
In addition, Moerae has a platform of formulation and delivery technologies (nanoparticle and polyplex) that can modulate specific properties of Moerae’s proprietary programs. Cell-penetrating properties, intracellular half-life and extracellular degradation profiles of Moerae’s MK2 inhibitor drugs may be tuned or modulated by complexing with proprietary platform nanoparticle and polyplex delivery and formulation technologies. These technologies may also be applied to other companies’ compounds with intracellular drug targets.