Proxygen GmbH will develop therapies against cancer and other life-threatening diseases by reprogramming the cellular protein quality control system. Proxygen is focused on particular small molecules called “molecular glue degraders” which induce proximity between a disease-causing protein and an ubiquitin ligase. Consequently, the target protein is ubiquitinated and directed to the proteasome for degradation. Instead of merely blocking the function of harmful proteins, molecular glue degraders enable their complete, targeted and selective elimination. This outlines a clear avenue towards targeting otherwise undruggable proteins and is therefore seen as one of the most promising therapeutic innovations of the last decades.
Proxygen will be located in the VBC 6 Startup Labs, a new co-working space for biotech companies embedded in the Vienna Biocenter campus, and will be supported by funds of the Austrian Business Agency (AWS), as well as by private investors and industry cooperations.
Proxygen is the fifth startup company, after Haplogen, MyeloPro, Allcyte, and Aelian, which has been created based on intellectual property and know-how of CeMM, the Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
CeMM’s mandate is to do world-class research in biomedicine, train researchers and medical doctors in molecular medicine and accelerate the precise, personalized, participatory and preventative medicine of the future. Integral component of CeMM’s strategy is to identify and support translational initiatives that promise to have an impact on medicine. CeMM, therefore, considers that safeguarding and valorizing its research output is an integral part of its societal responsibility, and that the efficient commercialization of CeMM’s proprietary and ideas will lead to the improvement of healthcare.