Former Principia team looks to shake up covalent small molecules again, this time at ‘earthquake’ scale

Terremoto Biosciences goes back a long ways, in a sense, to about a dozen years ago when Principia Biopharma was founded by UCSF professor Jack Taunton. Peter Thompson initially helmed the biotech.

The company helped expand covalent small molecule inhibitors beyond oncology and into autoimmune disease by targeting cystine. But that amino acid is uncommon in a lot of proteins, offering fewer drug targets than, say, lysine, which is present in most proteins of interest. So, over the years, Taunton went back to the drawing board to check out that second amino acid.

“Jack and I both became pretty interested in whether this concept could be extended outside the restriction to covalency using cystine, thereby expanding the covalent alphabet. He worked on that for a bit, we kept in touch about how this was going and all that kind of stuff,” Thompson told Endpoints News.

The pair reached out to…
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