Today, we’re in Schindellegi, Switzerland, visiting Histide, a biotech that produces peptides that stimulate cell growth for healthy tissue regeneration.
Mission: Founded in 2014, Histide’s so-called Cell Recoding Molecules use peptides to activate growth factor receptors on cells, which stimulates the growth of new cells and promotes tissue regeneration. In preclinical testing, the technology was able to regenerate twelve different types of tissue and recode tumor cells into healthy cells. With these properties, the technology could help repair tissue that has been damaged by injury or disease, and possibly even treat cancer.
The company’s Cell Recoding Molecules are small peptides that can be grafted onto tissue scaffold devices. Because they mimic natural cell signalling, Cell Recoding Molecules are not as likely to provoke an unwanted immune response compared to cell and gene therapies, which introduce foreign cells or DNA to the patient. The technology is currently in preclinical development to treat cancer, metabolic diseases, neurological disorders, and rare diseases, and to be used in medical devices.
Comment: Even though cell and gene therapies have driven a number of recent breakthroughs in treating rare diseases, both technologies can cause serious side effects such as tumor growth. For example, CAR-T cell therapies have resulted in cancer remission rates of up to 83%, but on the other hand have also led to patient deaths in clinical trials.
Given the severity of these side effects, developing treatments that deliver the same therapeutic benefit without eliciting an unwanted immune response would greatly benefit patients. Histide’s tissue regeneration technology could be an important step in this direction.
Image by Yevgen Sundikov/Shutterstock