Confo Therapeutics announced today that it has been awarded a EUR 1.7 million grant from Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO). The award further validates and supports Confo’s leadership in the discovery of novel GPCR (G protein-coupled receptor) drug candidates using its proprietary universal ConfoBody® technology, specifically for the purpose of developing needed new treatments for orphan and rare diseases. As an example, the company intends to address an important target for neurological orphan conditions which is currently considered to be an undruggable GPCR.
“If successful, the research pursued under the aegis of this VLAIO grant will allow us to unlock new potential treatments for unmet disease areas and to simultaneously pursue new technology developments. This will ultimately shorten our drug discovery timelines, allowing us to access relevant GPCR conformations faster while dramatically increasing our screening efficiency,” said Christel Menet, CSO of Confo Therapeutics.
A ConfoBody® is a single-domain VHH antibody that binds to and stabilizes a GPCR in its therapeutically relevant conformation (1) ConfoBodies® therefore enable superior and more efficient drug discovery for dynamic membrane proteins in their natural environment and state. The grant will enable the company to further extend its current universal ConfoBody®, Cb35, toward other G proteins. The funds will also be used to identify additional universal ConfoBodies® for use in the company’s ConfoSensor® screening technology, which enables the identification of smaller, difficult to detect chemical starting points in GPCR drug discovery and development.
Cedric Ververken, CEO of Confo Therapeutics, added: “We are grateful to once again be the recipient of a VLAIO grant, a valuable recognition by the Flemish government of our position as an innovative leader in the GPCR space and a key member of the biotech cluster in Flanders. As we await data from our ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial with our lead neuropathic pain program, CFTX-1554, VLAIO’s support will allow us to continue investigating the broad utility of our ConfoSensor® technology and expand our proprietary pipeline for rare disease indications.”