Learn more about our solutions
Our targeting peptide
Delivery in the kidney
The core of our technology portfolio consists of an unique targeting peptide. This peptide is derived from an endogenous protein that circulates in our blood and has several remarkable qualities:
When mixed with polynucleotide drugs, it forms defined nanoparticles, which can be controlled in size according to an easily scalable process.
The outside of the nanoparticles is completely composed of peptide, which protects the polynucleotide drug from degradation and recognition by the (innate) immune system.
The peptide binds with high affinity to a specific (for IP-reasons undisclosed) receptor, allowing specific targeting of the nanoparticle to the glomerulus. Thereby we prevent drug delivery in any other organ than the kidney and as a consequence avoid many of the side-effects common in the current treatments.
Build to last
The ability to deliver specifically to the cells of the glomerulus, while protecting the polynucleotide on the way, allows for the the first time the use of mRNA for CKD, which has many advantages:
Once delivered, a single mRNA molecule, as the short-living copy of a single gene, can produce up to a few thousand therapeutic protein molecules on-site, making it very powerful and yet precise. The predictable behaviour and tunability allows for truly personalized medicine. And the relatively short lifetime of mRNA makes it much safer and more controllable than DNA, although this also poses a challenge.
Therefore, our mRNAs are modified in unique ways to optimize their stability and lifetime, and thereby maximize the therapeutic potential of each correctly delivered mRNA molecule.
Our lead candidate drug
A precision medicine
At Mercurna, we are tirelessly working on the improvement of our nanoparticle drug for CKD. Therefore, we are looking into all kinds of aspects related to the individual components, combinations of components, pathways to target, etc.
As a consequence we have an ever expanding portfolio of modifications of our targeting peptide, mRNA modifications and mRNAs encoding for different therapeutic proteins, from which we are currently picking the best combination for each indication.
Our lead formulation, which we believe is applicable to a wide variety of CKD indications, consists of an unique cocktail of mRNAs that attacks the disease at its root and brings back the homeostasis in the kidney. The unprecedented targeting and powerful activity makes this a true precision medicine.