Andrei Yudin's Encycle Therapeutics acquired by Zealand Pharma

October 31, 2019 by Dan Haves

A drug discovery company started by Professor Andrei Yudin has been acquired by Zealand Pharma, a Copenhagen-based biotechnology company. 

Encycle Therapeutics was created in 2012 after Yudin discovered and synthesized a new type of molecule called "nacellins". Nacellins are small peptide-like molecules that are able to target intracellular protein-protein interactions. They have the ability to target proteins that you cannot target with conventional therapeutics.

Zealand's acquisition of Encycle is centred around peptide therapeutics for gastrointestinal diseases. One of Encycle's lead assets is being developed as an orally-delivered peptide drug to target integrin alpha-4-beta-7, which is involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease.

“This is a result of the tireless efforts on behalf of Encycle's team of scientists," says Yudin. "I am particularly humbled by the fact that the technology has been developed here at U of T. This acquisition serves as yet another demonstration of the translational merits of basic science."