Innovative pharmaceutical research and development

Founded in 2006, Pharmacoidea Ltd. is a biotech company that partners with the world's leading pharmaceutical companies to address critical issues in modern medicine. From bioinformatics to genetically engineered transgenic mouse models and adeno-associated virus vectors capable of selectively manipulating gene function, Pharmacoidea applies a broad portfolio of 21st-century drug development to its R&D projects.

  • From bioinformatics to genetically engineered transgenic mouse models and adeno-associated virus vectors capable of selectively manipulating gene function, Pharmacoidea applies a broad portfolio of 21st-century drug development to its R&D projects.

  • The aim is to harness scientific results as soon as possible to improve the health of those with unmet medical needs.

  • The company's drug research and development portfolio covers therapeutic and diagnostic R&D against neurodegenerative and inflammatory disorders and infectious diseases.

  • The company's experts apply their expertise in gene therapy vectors, selective drug delivery, and natural compounds to their developments.

The earliest branch of in-house drug development focuses on developing more specific drug delivery technologies. One recent discovery is the drug delivery process using cell surface proteoglycans, which could open the door to the widespread use of nucleic acid and protein-based therapeutic approaches. The discovery is that syndecan-4 cell-surface proteoglycan allows proteins and macromolecules impermeable to the cell membrane to enter the cell. Further development of the technology, protected by US Patent US8647828B2, is aimed at selective drug delivery to various organs and tissues. Pharmacoidea scientists thus developed their technology for the selective brain delivery of high molecular weight drugs (proteins, nucleic acids) covered by European patent EP3911362A1 and US20220002433A1 (see our patent Brain targeted drug delivery method via syndecan-3). The team’s achievements in targeted drug delivery are summarized by the following publications: Letoha et al. BBA 2010; Letoha et al. Eur J Pharm Sci. 2013; Szilák et al. Ther Deliv. 2013.

Gene therapy is a revolutionary new field of medicine that is paving the way to treat incurable diseases that can be traced back to genetic defects. Although further research is needed to improve efficacy and safety, gene therapy could represent a huge step forward in personalized medicine and the treatment of genetic diseases. Thanks to its research on the targeted cellular delivery of high molecular weight agents, such as oligonucleotides and proteins, Pharmacoidea is part of the ARDAT (Accelerating Research & Development for Advanced Therapies) project, funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative, which aims to review knowledge of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors to accelerate the R&D of advanced therapies and develop more effective and safer gene therapies. The results are reported in the following scientific publications: Letoha et al. Eur J Pharm Sci. 2013; Schmidt et al. Cell & Gene Therapy Insights 2022; Hudák et al. Int J Mol Sci. 2023.

Neurodegenerative diseases are pathologies based on progressive and irreversible damage to the nervous system through the slow death of the brain’s neurons. Neurodegenerative diseases include Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, among others. Each neurodegenerative disease has specific symptoms and characteristics, but all are characterized by progressive loss of brain cells. As it is currently impossible to regenerate the destroyed nerve cells, current treatments are mainly aimed at alleviating symptoms and slowing down the progression of the disease. Since drug therapy initiated at an early stage of disease plays an important role in maintaining the patient’s quality of life, early diagnosis is essential for effectively treating neurodegenerative diseases. Pharmacoidea researchers are involved in several projects investigating the causes of neurodegenerative diseases and targeted diagnostic and treatment options. Among these, the 2019-2.1.1-EUREKA-2019-0007 project explores the potential use of plant polyphenols from agricultural waste for Alzheimer’s disease, the IM2PACT project under the Innovative Medicines Initiative investigates the effects of Alzheimer’s disease on the blood-brain barrier, while NEUROPA is developing potential treatment principles for Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease using ontogenetic methods. Among the national funding sources, the 2020-1.1.2-PIACI-KFI-2021-00233 project focuses on mapping the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.  The following publications from Pharmacoidea researchers demonstrate the contribution of syndecan proteoglycans to pathological protein aggregation: Letoha et al. Sci Rep. 2019; Hudák et al. Sci Rep. 2019Hudák el al. Int J Mol Sci. 2021. For more information on using syndecan-3 as a diagnostic biomarker against Alzheimer’s disease, see Hudák et al. Int J Mol Sci. 2022.

Cell surface proteoglycans play a key role in viral entry into cells. Many viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, herpesvirus, and HIV, use proteoglycans to facilitate binding and entry to the cell surface. SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 disease, binds to heparan-sulfate proteoglycans at the cell surface, facilitating binding to the cell’s ACE2 receptor and entry into the cell. As proteoglycans play an important role in viral infections, they may also play an important role in the defence against viruses and treating viral diseases. Developing drugs that inhibit viral binding to proteoglycans could potentially be an effective strategy to control viral infections. Researchers at Pharmacoidea have thus developed a novel method, protected by international patents, that effectively inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection by blocking the binding of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to the members of the syndecan family of heparan-sulfate proteoglycans. Syndecans’ role in SARS-CoV-2 infection is described in the following scientific publications by Pharmacoidea researchers: Hudák et al. Int J Mol Sci. 2021; Hudák, Veres et al. Int J Mol Sci. 2022; Hudák, Morgan et al. Int J Mol Sci. 2022.