NEWS

2024 February 20
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY, February 20, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ -- VRG Therapeutics (VRG Tx), a biotechnology R&D company focusing on miniprotein pharmaceuticals and cellular & gene therapy (CGT) products has announced the successful experimental verification of its proprietary, artificial intelligence-(AI)-powered drug discovery technology.

Using the company’s established, directed evolution based miniprotein platform, VRG Tx has previously demonstrated the capability to drastically improve the pharmacological properties of already identified peptide ligands. Indeed, the evolved drug candidates proved their potential in vivo, in relevant autoimmune and cancer animal proof of concept studies.



Our AI-powered miniprotein platform provides high quality, validated hit molecules within 6 months, which takes years with the traditional screening approach”
— Zalán Péterfi, PhD
The AI-powered add-on is a leap in the potential of the company’s miniprotein platform by enabling de novo design of miniproteins towards virtually any target, bypassing years of struggle to discover a starting molecule. “I am really excited about the successful pilot project which paves the road to tackle any targets by de novo miniprotein design. The discovery process could only start from an already existing target-ligand interaction until this point. Our AI-powered miniprotein platform provides high quality, validated hit molecules within 6 months, which takes years with the traditional screening approach” said Zalán Péterfi, PhD, CEO and co-founder of VRG Tx.



As the first step, the Wetlab-verified In Silico Design of Miniproteins (WISDOM) platform designs initial miniprotein scaffolds in silico that are at least weak binders of the target. Next, these scaffolds are further optimized with the Company’s Individual Sequence Enrichment Pattern (ISEP) technology. This method is based on phage display and its communication with the in-silico platform allows fine-tuned optimization and selection of the best drug candidates. To showcase the company’s ability to find scaffolds for any target molecule, including those that have no identified interaction partner, our new WISDOM technology identified hitherto unknown binders to a target protein while ranking the known interaction partners, as positive controls, amongst the top 0.1% hits. The new scaffolds were already confirmed by experimental data provided by industry gold standard binding assays.

“Although AI technology is rapidly advancing, the in-silico design of “ready-to-develop” drug candidates for any pharmaceutical target is still far away. We believe that the future of drug development is combining trailblazing AI and in silico technologies with state-of-the-art wet lab work. Thus, we utilize the wetlab-based ISEP platform together with the AI driven scaffold selection and design in an iterative process to achieve unprecedented selectivity and affinity in an extremely fast discovery process.” added Zalán Péterfi.

The integrated approach rapidly advances miniprotein drug candidates to transform from concept to reality. Using its upgraded technology, VRG Tx already started a new project aiming to block IL-6 trans-signaling aiming to treat chronic inflammatory diseases, and to maximize the potential of the WISDOM technology, the company has established a collaboration to utilize Komondor, a world-class High Performance Computing (HPC) infrastructure.

Furthermore, VRG Tx have started conversations with pharma partners to externalize the pipeline and with investors to join their USD 15 million Series B funding round to progress lead assets into the clinic.

About VRG Tx: VRG Therapeutics is an original biopharmaceutical R&D company located in Budapest, Hungary. VRG Tx’s vision is to leverage its unique technologies to create cures for diseases through targets and mechanisms of action that are beyond the reach of conventional biopharma approaches. VRG Tx miniprotein based portfolio addresses major unmet clinical needs including autoimmune diseases, inflammation, and oncological indications. The company has raised USD 11 million to date (USD 3.5 million in seed funding, USD 5.5 million in series A, and USD 2 million in grants) and is led by a team of professionals with experience from McKinsey and Company, Harvard Medical School, and large pharma companies.

About miniproteins: Miniproteins, which combine the benefits of small molecules and biologics, are next-generation therapeutic peptides stabilized by disulfide bridges to form a rigid structure. These peptides offer the precision and binding capabilities of monoclonal antibodies, combined with enhanced stability, minimal immunogenicity, cost-effective production, and the feasibility of oral administration.

Zalán Péterfi, PhD - Managing Director
VRG Therapeutics Plc.
zalan.peterfi@vrgtherapeutics.com
Visit us on social media:
LinkedIn

2024 January 08
News Image
New member to the team
We are happy to share that Dr. Zoltán Urbányi has joined our team as the Director of Biologics Development. He is a seasoned pharmaceutical leader with 36 -year experience in pharmaceutical R&D including 16-year experience in the development of biologics at a mid-pharma company. His career encompasses extensive experience in drug research, management, and project leadership. He has a special expertise is the analytics and characterization of biopharmaceuticals, but he is experienced in the management of the whole preclinical R&D process. He has a strong track record in international pharmaceutical collaborations and project management as well. Welcome Zoltán, we’re happy to have you on board!

2024 January 02
News Image
New member to the team
We are happy to announce that Ildikó Dósa has joined our team as Research assistant. She completed her BSc in Biology at the University of Szeged and her MSc in Biotechnology specialized in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. During her university studies she gained experience in molecular biology and in protein science. As a student researcher at the Institute of Enzymology of the Research Centre for Natural Sciences she studied a drug transporter which are overexpressed in various tumors. She also has experience in diagnostic laboratory work. Welcome Ildikó, we’re happy to have you on board!
2024 January 02
News Image
New member to the team
We are happy to announce that Mariann Kremlitzka, PhD has joined our team as a Senior Molecular Scientist and Immunologist on January 1, 2024. Mariann completed her MSc in Molecular Biology and obtained her PhD from Immunology at the Eötvös Loránd University in 2014. She has been working in the immunological field for more than 14 years. During her training and carrier, she became an expert on classical and molecular immunology, with deep knowledge on basic and advanced immunological methods, adaptive immunity, cancer and autoimmune diseases. During her academic carrier, Mariann worked as a postdoctoral fellow both in Hungary at Eötvös Loránd University as well as at foreign universities, in Germany (Hans-Knöll Insitute, University of Lübeck) and in Sweden (Lund University) where she studied the function and effect of mutations of various comlement proteins in pathological conditions. Mariann obtained also pharmaceutical experiences with vaccine design and development (CEVA-Phylaxia Zrt., and Treos Bio Zrt. Hungary).

2023 November 29
News Image
CESAwards – We are regional finalists!
We are pleased to inform you that based on the jury's opinion, VRGT was selected in the Global Startup Awards program among the best emerging companies in Central Europe (CE) in two categories: Startup of the Year 2023 & Newcomer of the Year 2023! The category winners within CE will be announced in January, 2024, where in addition to the jury's opinion, the audience's votes (public voting) will be taken into account.
Therefore, we would kindly ask you to vote for VRGT in both categories via the links below:

1. Startup of the Year 2023: https://public-voting.globalstartupawards.com/competition-public-voting/633e9631a225bb5bd095fe6b?nominationId=6513d35f8a80896cfec4ea69

2. Newcomer of the Year 2023: https://public-voting.globalstartupawards.com/competition-public-voting/633e9631a225bb5bd095fe6b?nominationId=651dbd5d8a80896cfecc8c11
2023 November 27
MBH Bank's Macronome Macroverse conference
News Image
We are proud to share that our Managing Director, Zalán Péterfi has participated at the second roundtable of MBH Bank's Macronome Macroverse conference, where the results and challenges of the Hungarian innovation ecosystem and Hungary's position in European terms were discussed. Participants also talked about how to improve Hungary's innovation and technology situation.
2023 November 22
News Image
Recognition of our student researcher
We are happy to announce that Ádám Jenőfalvi, a student researcher at VRG Therapeutics won first prize at the student association conference („TDK”) at Budapest University of Technology and Economics in Section Biotechnology, Biochemistry and Food Sciences. His thesis describes the engineering of a recombinant live biotherapeutic product (rLBP) to treat inflammatory bowel diseases. Congratulations Ádám, we are proud to see that your work is also recognised beyond our lab!
2023 November 02
Startup Breeding 2023 Milan Awards
News Image
We are happy and thrilled to announce that our Kv1.3 pitch was chosen as "Best Innovative Business Proposal" by a board of investors on Startup Breeding, an annual event of Cluster Nazionale Scienze della Vita ALISEI, the Italian National Cluster for Life Sciences. Furthermore, we received the Special Awards of 2i3T - Innovative Companies Incubator of the University of Turin and Bioindustry Park Silvano Fumero S.p.A. Società Benefit. It was a fantastic event and we're grateful to the organizers for their excellent work.
2023 October 20
BIO-Europe 2023 Startup Spotlight
News Image
We are proud to be part of the BIO-Europe 2023 Startup Spotlight as one of the selected companies! It's a privilege to share the stage with such forward-thinking biotech startups.
2023 October 11
Bio Europe 2023 Munich
News Image
We are thrilled to announce that VRG Therapeutics has been selected to present in front of top-tier VC investors in the Startup Spotlight competition at Bio Europe 2023, organized with the support of Bayer Co.Lab incubator. We pitch our Kv1.3 asset aiming to cure autoimmune diseases. You'll have the opportunity to meet with Zalán Péterfi and Márton Megyeri Ph.D. at the event in Munich. Register now to join us! https://bit.ly/3Sm2CY8 #BioEurope
2023 October 10
News Image
Biotech Days 2023 Pécs
Our colleague, Patrik Szekér participated in the International Biotech Days 2023 organized by the Hungarian Biotechnology Student Association, and gave a talk on our Kv1.3 asset aiming to cure autoimmune diseases. The event was supported by VRG Therapeutics.

2023 October 01
News Image
New member to the team
We are happy to announce that Dr. Judit Matúz has joined our team as a Project coordinator on October 1, 2023. She is a seasoned pharmaceutical leader with over 40 years in the pharmaceutical industry. Her career encompasses extensive experience in pharmacological research, management, and project leadership. She has a strong track record in international pharmaceutical collaborations, project management, and overseeing the R&D of small molecule compounds, emphasizing resource optimization, timelines, and cost-efficiency. She was engaged for decades in outsourcing and supervising the efficacy and safety tests necessary for the R&D of pharmaceutical compounds. She was involved in the organization of GLP studies for several compounds hitting the clinical phase.

2023 October 01
News Image
New member to the team
We are happy to share that Lili Kovanecz-Jármi has joined our team as Laboratory technician on October 1, 2023. Lili graduated from Budapest University of Technology and Economics as a bioengineer specialized in Applied Biotechnology. She gained valuable experience in molecular biology during her university studies at the Institute of Enzymology at the Research Centre for Natural Sciences. Afterward, she continued her research work at Semmelweis University and TEVA Pharmaceutical Industries. During the pandemic, she served as a research assistant at the National Center for Public Health and Pharmacy. Subsequently, she joined the National Biosafety Laboratory, where Lili's primary focus was on whole genome sequencing.

2023 September 25
Startup Breeding 2023 Milan
News Image
We are proud to announce that VRG Therapeutics was chosen to participate Startup Breeding 2023 as a presenter. The event will take place on 31 October, in Milan at Palazzo Mezzanotte.

https://meetinitalylifesciences.eu/en/programma2023/startup-breeding-2023/

2023 September 07
Our recent fundraising is among the highest ones in Europe
News Image
We were happy to find out that our latest fundraising was the second highest one within all European biotech companies in August!

2023 September 1
News Image
New member to the team
We are happy to announce that Ambrus Gordos, PharmD, has joined our team as a Laboratory technician on September 1, 2023. Ambrus completed his studies in Pharmaceutical Sciences at Semmelweis University. During his university years, he gained experience in solid-phase peptide synthesis at the Organic Chemistry Department at Semmelweis University and in molecular biology at Gachon University in Seoul, South Korea. He then joined VRG Therapeutics as a student researcher, where he designed and optimized a fluorescence-based assay. He presented his work at Semmelweis University's Student Researchers Conference and secured the first place in the pharmaceutical sciences category.

News Image
New member to the team
We are happy to share that Gábor Oroszlán, Ph.D. has joined our team as Senior Scientist on 1 September 2023. Gábor completed his MSc in Bioengineering specializing in Applied Biotechnology at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. He received his Ph.D. degree in Structural Biochemistry at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. Gábor has 10+ years of experience in molecular biology and is an expert in protein biochemistry. Previously he worked at the Institute of Enzymology of the Research Centre for Natural Sciences, Budapest, focusing on the complement system of the human immune system. Studying the activation of the complement cascade he identified a novel drug target aiming to aid the treatment of various autoimmune diseases. After obtaining his Ph.D., he joined Harvard Medical School as a postdoctoral scientist gaining extensive experience in protein structure determination using Cryo-EM. He was focusing on the DNA replication of herpes viruses and deciphered the novel 3D model of the human cytomegalovirus polymerase holoenzyme complex.

2023 August 28
News Image
New member to the team
We are happy to announce that Tamás Csikai has joined our team as Chief Financial and Operating Officer on 28 August 2023. Tamás holds a degree in finance and accounting from the Corvinus University of Budapest and has 10+ years of finance, strategy and operations experience. He started his career at KBC Group as a corporate finance analyst. Later he was a management consultant at McKinsey and Company, where he worked with Fortune 500 companies in Europe and North America. Recently, he was a subsidiary finance and operations director at OTP Group. He has previously laid the strategy and successfully built a new venture at OTP Group from scratch via a mix of organic and inorganic (M&A) activities. In his capacity, he was responsible for financial, legal, HR, and business intelligence (BI) matters and led M&A projects in line with the go-to-market and growth strategy.

2023 August 14
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY, August 14, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ -- VRG Therapeutics (VRG Tx), a pioneering biotechnology research and development company specializing in miniprotein-based pharmaceuticals and cellular & gene therapy (CGT) products, is pleased to announce that it has successfully secured a €5 million investment deal. The funding was led by the Budapest based Széchenyi Funds (SZTA) with the participation of Vascular Group, the incumbent seed investor.

VRG Tx's breakthrough individual sequence enrichment pattern (ISEP) platform harnesses the power of directed evolution to create miniprotein-based therapeutics and CGT applications. This unique approach draws from the evolutionary conserved structures of natural peptides and employs cutting-edge next-generation sequencing (NGS) analytics to design novel therapeutic candidates. These candidates offer unparalleled selectivity and affinity, combining the advantages of both small molecules and biologics.

The investment, led by Széchenyi Funds, underscores its commitment to innovation. As part of the investment, Széchenyi Funds will appoint members to VRG Tx's new Board. This strategic collaboration positions VRG Tx for continued growth and development. The funding enables VRG Tx to progress its pre-clinical drug candidate portfolio to IND enabling studies in indications with major unmet clinical needs including migraine prophylaxis, central nervous system (CNS) disorders, autoimmune diseases and glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Securing this investment provides a strong basis for VRG Tx’s ongoing Series A fundraising efforts to advance its diverse portfolio of projects.

About VRG Tx: VRG Therapeutics is an innovative biopharmaceutical R&D company headquartered in Budapest, Hungary. VRG Tx is committed to leveraging its proprietary miniprotein ISEP technology to tackle diseases through mechanisms that conventional biopharmaceutical approaches cannot achieve.

About Széchenyi Funds (SZTA): Széchenyi Funds is a major Hungarian venture capital and private equity investor focusing on companies with robust growth potential related to Hungary and the CEE region. They manage € 400 million in assets and 80+ portfolio companies in a well-balanced portfolio representing several industries.

Zalan Peterfi
VRG Therapeutics
email us here
Visit us on social media:
LinkedIn

2023 July 4
Publication
We proudly announce the publication of our first paper in Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) related to our chlorotoxin analogue (CTXA) development. We use our patented chlorotoxin analogues for targeting CAR-T cells to cure patient suffering from glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
Publication link: https://www.jbc.org/article/S0021-9258(23)02026-4/fulltext
2023 May 26
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY, May 26, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ -- VRG Therapeutics, a biotechnology R&D company focused on peptide-based pharmaceuticals and cellular & gene therapy (CGT) products has announced that their exceptionally selective Kv1.3 inhibitor peptide showed efficacy in a delayed-type hypersensitivity animal model. VRG Tx’s lead compound has been developed on the company’s ISEP platform and has been proven to be more than 1200 times selective on highly homologue ion channels. Targeting Kv1.3 ion channel holds promise to treat several autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, IBD, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis through an immune sparing mechanism of selective blockade of autoreactive T cells. The company is committed to continue preclinical development to bring a new best-in-class cure for autoimmune patients.

About Kv1.3 immune sparing mechanism: autoreactive T cells are pivotal players in the pathomechanism of various autoimmune diseases. Selective pharmacological blockade of Kv1.3 attenuates autoimmune processes without exerting a general immunosuppressive effect. VRG Tx’s best-in-class peptide inhibitor has a subnanomolar binding to Kv1.3 combined with unprecedented selectivity. It opens a wide therapeutic window for safe and effective immunomodulation with less side effects compared to the current standard of care and competing candidates currently in development.

About VRG Tx’s miniprotein ISEP platform: VRG Tx’s proprietary individual sequence enrichment pattern (ISEP) tech-platform leverages protein technology to create CGT applications. It builds on the evolutionary conserved structures of natural peptides and applies high throughput screening combined with cutting-edge NGS-based advanced analytics to design novel therapeutic candidates with unprecedented selectivity and affinity. Miniproteins combine the benefits of small molecules and biologics.

About VRG Tx: VRG Therapeutics (formerly: Vascular Research Group) is an original biopharmaceutical research and development company located in Budapest, Hungary. VRG Tx’s vision is to leverage its unique miniprotein ISEP technology to cure diseases by acting on targets and utilizing mechanisms of action that conventional biopharma approach cannot achieve.

Zalan Peterfi
VRG Therapeutics
email us here
Visit us on social media:
LinkedIn

2023 May 08
News Image
Project news
Our chlorotoxin-analog (CTXA) targeted CAR T asset is not only strong by scientific means but also holds strong IP protection. The project reached an important milestone: we received the International Preliminary Report on Patentability for our patent application (PCT/HU2021/050075). The result is: all claims have been accepted in terms of all requirements of patentability!

We’ll continue our progress and keep you updated.
2023 April 18
VRG has reached a new milestone
In order to continue the progress of our portfolio, we have separated from our mother company and launched VRG Therapeutics, a company fully dedicated to R&D.

Stay with us on our journey!
2023 January 30
News Image
Pathfinder Open grant (HORIZON-EIC-2023-PATHFINDEROPEN-01-01)
VRG is planning to apply for a Pathfinder Open grant (HORIZON-EIC-2023-PATHFINDEROPEN-01-01) and looking for partners active on the following fields:

- Development and production of AAV-s for viral transduction of genetic material to CNS neurons.
- Development and production of electrodes to be applied in neurosurgery or devices for microinjection. The device we envisage would be to a combination of a microinjector and an electrode.

The submission deadline is 7 March 2023. Let us know if you are interested in joining us in this grant application!
2022 December 22
News Image
Happy Holiday Season!
On behalf of Vascular Research Group we wish you a very Happy Holiday season and a prosperous New Year!
2022 October 20
BIO-Europe 2022 Leipzig
We are happy to share that we participate Bio-Europe on October 24–26, 2022 in Leipzig, Germany. We are looking for investors/partners for our forerunning GBM targeting CTXA-CAR-T project. In addition, you may learn more about our gene therapy based chemogenetic program in CNS indication which is now available for initial funding.
Meet our Head of CMC Development, Márton Megyeri and Managing Director, Zalán Péterfi in person there!
2022 October 14
News Image
Alliance for Regenerative Medicine
We are happy to share that we have become a member of Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM). ARM is the most prestigious community for companies active in the Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) field. We consider this as an important step on the road towards fulfilling our mission to cure diseases via targets and MoAs that cannot be reached with traditional approaches.
Using our unique platform, we optimize peptides/proteins of natural origin using directed evolution to create cutting-edge CGT products. This technology is in good accordance with ARM's mission, creating a great opportunity to build partnerships that help us all to reach our goals.
To start cooperation with other ARM members, we will participate Cell and Gene Meeting on the Mesa on October 11-13 in Carlsbad, CA. It is the most prominent gathering of the CGT community. We are going to present our GBM targeting CTXA-CAR-T asset on the event. Meet, Márton Megyeri, Head of CMC Development there!

2022 October 12
News Image
Innovation Marketplace and Career Day of Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Science
We're expanding our network towards academic research: VRG will join Innovation Marketplace and Career Day of Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Science on 13 October. Our BD and Project Manager, Tamás Kitka will give a company presentation and participate a roundtable discussion. Looking forward to meet our future research partners there!
Cell and Gene Meeting on the Mesa
Cell and Gene Meeting on the Mesa on October 11-13 in Carlsbad, CA in the US is the most prominent gathering of the Cell and Gene Therapy community. Therefore, we also participate and going to present VRG’s GBM targeting CTXA-CAR-T asset on the event. You can meet our Head of CMC Development, Márton Megyeri there!
News Image
2022 August 16
VRG announces major milestone in chlorotoxin targeted CAR T therapy in glioblastoma

Vascular Research Group announced preclinical results of their proprietary CAR T CTXA8 superior to current clinical stage competitor containing natural CTX

Vascular Research Group (VRG), a peptide-based pharmaceuticals, cellular & gene therapy (CGT) company announced that their proprietary chlorotoxin (CTX) analogue, CTXA8, an antigen recognition domain in CAR T-cells, shows high potency in eliminating glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cells in a preclinical in vitro GBM model. CTXA8 CAR modified T-cells demonstrated superior efficacy over the CAR T candidate employing natural CTX currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial. CTXA8 has been developed using VRG’s "designer miniprotein" platform. "We are very excited about these preclinical results that are in line with CTXA8’s superior affinity and selectivity towards MMP2 versus the natural CTX containing clinical stage competitor" - said Dr. Zalán Péterfi, Managing Director of VRG. "We look forward to reaching out and working with prospective partners to translate these promising developments into significant improvements in patient outcomes".

About CAR-T therapy targeting brain tumors: CAR T-cells are modified white blood cells expressing a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) against a specific tumor antigen that holds the potential of identification and elimination of cancer cells. High overexpression of MMP2 protein in GBM has recently been utilized as a new target and the initial results from the ongoing Phase 1 trial show that CTX targeted CAR T therapy could be a game changer for this indication. The safety and efficacy of CAR T therapies strongly depend on the specificity and selectivity of the tumor-targeting domain of the chimeric antigen receptor. Using its designer "miniprotein" platform, VRG has developed a proprietary CTX analog, CTXA8 that provides a solution for directed antitumor activity. CTXA8 as a targeting agent of CAR T-cells, exerts a major effect on MMP2-overexpressing GBM while sparing normal tissues with low MMP2 expression. VRG’s latest results show that CTXA8 CAR T-cells demonstrate faster and improved killing of tumor cells within 24 hours with an effector-target ratio of 1:3, which predicts higher efficacy and lower off-tumor effect compared to the CAR T therapy with original CTX currently in Phase 1. The increased efficacy of CTXA8-based CAR T therapy is due to the increased affinity and selectivity of CTXA8 versus original CTX towards MMP2 overexpressing tumor cells. This is further supported by a cytokine release assay in which CTXA8 CAR T-cells secreted 3 times more IFN gamma than CTX CAR Ts.

About VRG’s miniprotein platform: The "designer miniprotein" technology platform, based on naturally occurring toxins and other peptide molecules, employs a directed evolution approach for selecting the best candidates from a peptide mega-library with more than a million randomly generated variants.

About VRG: Vascular Research Group is a biopharmaceutical company located in Budapest, Hungary. VRG is a part of the Vascular Group with various business activities in the healthcare industry. VRG generates proprietary proteins/peptides using a directed evolutionary approach and employs them as small protein pharmaceuticals or as Cellular & Gene Therapeutics. VRG’s strategy is to cure diseases via targets and MoAs that cannot be reached with traditional approaches using small molecules or natural peptide-based pharmaceuticals.

2022 May 2
News Image
New member to the team
We are happy to announce that Anna Hollósi, MSc, has joined our team as a scientist on 2 May 2022. Anna completed her MSc in Biochemical Engineering specialized in Applied Biotechnology at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. As a student researcher she gained experience in Pathology and Pathobiochemistry at the Second Department of Pathology of Semmelweis University. Her main area of research was the study of breast tumors and the associated signalling pathways. Anna will be completing her PhD at the Department of Biophysics and Radiation Biology of Semmelweis University. During her PhD she focused on understanding the mechanism of metastasis and mapping the underlying signalling pathways.

2022 February 1
News Image
New member to the team
We are pleased to announce that Anna Hajdara, MSc, has joined our team as a scientist on 1 February 2022. Anna is a medical biotechnologist and soon will be completing her PhD at the Stem Cell Laboratory of the Semmelweis University, Department of Dermatology, Venerology and Dermatooncology. Her main research field was the effect of neural and immunological factors on skin stem cells, hence her arrival will add a valuable knowledge to VRG’s projects. During her university years she had also gained experience in bioengineering and neurodegenerative disease research.

2022 January 31
We have launched our cutting-edge DREADD project (Designer Receptor Exclusively Activated by Designer Drug).
DREADDs are exclusively activated by their pharmaceutical ligand, the so-called actuator. CNS-delivered artificial DREADDs have no physiological effects without their actuator, offering a flexible and adaptive control of the timing and intensity of the effect. This technique can be employed to develop a safe, adjustable alternative of current neurosurgery techniques, such as deep brain stimulation and local lesion. Moreover, molecular targeting solutions (e.g. promoters) allows disctinction between neuronal populations not only based on their localization, but also based on their neurochemical attributes. On the long run, non-surgical delivery may provide additional benefits to this platform.

2022 January 3
News Image
New member to the team
We are happy to announce that József Murányi, PhD has joined our team as scientist on 3 January 2022. József completed his MSc in chemical engineering specialized in medicinal chemistry at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. He received his PhD degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences at Semmelweis University, Budapest. József is an expert in preparative organic chemistry specialized for anti-cancer compounds and targeted drug delivery systems. He has 10+ years extensive practical experience in drug development and preclinical studies, both in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics aspects. Previously he worked at the ELKH MTA-SE Pathobiochemistry Research Group, where he gained further experiences in the field of cancer cell biology and signal transduction therapy.

2021 December 1
News Image
New member to the team
We are excited to announce that Márton Megyeri has joined to the team as Head of CMC Development on the 1st of December 2021. He is going to bring a chemistry manufacturing and controls (CMC) and regulatory perspective to the team by managing late-stage research projects of the portfolio. Previously, by leading a team that provided integrated scientific and strategic support for the CMC biosimilar development he completed successful INDs and other regulatory submissions to FDA and EMA. Márton is a bioengineer by training, holds a PhD in structural biochemistry and protein science. He was a postdoc in the Weizmann Institute of Science and held various roles within the biotech industry pipeline. With 9+ years of bio-pharmaceutical experience and 15+ years of academic track record and a passion for science he is going to complete the team’s expertise to cover the full spectra of biologics development.

2021 October 15
Vascular Research Group at the annual meeting of the Peptide Chemistry Association
Vascular Research Group (VRG) presented its progress on CTX analogue development at the annual meeting of the Peptide Chemistry Association (MTA). The annual meeting of the Peptide Chemistry Association (Hungarian Academy of Sciences) took place between 2021 October 11 and 13, and VRG got the opportunity to present its findings for the first time to a wider audience. Following a short introduction of the company and the R&D pipeline, the presentation focused on highlighting completed project milestones on CTX analogue development such as newly designed CTX conjugates which showed improved affinity and specificity to cancer cells. Aside from the talk, we were able to broaden our network in hope for future collaborationsand also the current state of play on peptide research.

2021 September 20
Winning grant support for COMBI-X project
Uzsoki Cardiovascular Center (UCC) had submitted a grant application entitled “COMBI-X: development of a new combination therapy for migraine” (project identification number: 2020-1.1.2-PIACI-KFI-2021-00207) to the Hungarian National Office for Research, Development and Innovation. For the implementation of the project, UCC now received a total of HUF 101,837,282 non-refundable support by the decision of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology. Start of implementation of the project: 16th April, 2021; planned deadline for completion: 16th April, 2024. In this period, thorough concept validation, optimal combination elaboration and preclinical development will be carried out. It is expected that this fixed-combination medicine of two drugs with different mechanisms will allow better migraine prophylaxis than currently available drugs: higher effectiveness than with current therapies, favourable side effect profile and effectiveness in cases of treatment resistance.
2021 September 1
News Image
New member to the team
We are happy to share that Tamás Kitka, PhD joined our team on 1 September 2021 as project and business development manager. He is a neurobiologist with 12 years of experience in pharmaceutical research and development. He was working in original research as a research group leader and project manager at Gedeon Richter Plc. He dealt with animal/human translational issues including model setup, optimizaton/validation, exploratory clinical trial for back-translanslational purposes and also gained experience in launch, evaluation and management of research projects. He gained his knowledge about preclinical development as business development manager of the GLP-compliant preclinical CRO, Aurigon Toxicological Research Center Ltd. where he was responsible for all partners from Central and Southern Europe as well as Middle East, from small biotechs to Big Pharma companies. His duties covered business deals and consulting in various types of preclinical development projects (small molecules, biologics, medical devices, etc.) Thanks to his broad experience, he brings a good overview of the preclinical R&D process from early research to GLP-compliant preclinical development.

2021 August 17
News Image
Why does a single and simple antibody test not give exact information regarding the immunity of the body? Why is a repeated series of testing being better? Why is it safer to also test the immunity on the cellular level too?
– the interview of Portfolio, one of Hungary’s most-read online economic newspapers, with Dr Orsolya Nagy (Vascular Diagnostics’ Laboratory Manager) and Dr Zalán Péterfi (Vascular Diagnostics’ Research Director) gives answers to these important questions. With the brink of the fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic on the doorstep by the menacing appearance of the delta-variant, the problem of testing demands a dynamic approach with safe and trustable results. In these times, the question of immunity is more and more relevant. The interview gives a satisfactory answer concerning this issue, presenting a reliable method from the Vascular Diagnostics’ team, that not only dispels the doubts surrounding the antibody approach to identify immunity but also gives a clearer image of how their diagnostic method is safe and sound and why is their company provides a fulfilling career path for the medical experts too in this field.

FIND OUT MORE
2021 July 19
News Image
Variants, vaccination and testing at the dawn of the fourth wave with Dr Zalán Péterfi
The importance of vaccination, the role of testing, and the relation of the variants’ appearance of Covid-19 and the fractionality of vaccination within the society are discussed with Dr Zalán Péterfi, Research Director of Vascular Diagnostics, Hungary’s leading Covid-19 molecular and cellular testing laboratory with over 700 000 evaluated samples and a vast selection of available tests, in the interview conducted by Pénz&Piac, one of Hungary’s best-known economic news site. The problems concerning the pandemic are substantial to everyone nowadays and the expert, Dr Péterfi, expresses his professional opinion to the readers regarding the selection of vaccines and the handling of the virological situation. With the fourth wave of the global crisis caused by the virus, people have to recognize their role in the defence against Covid-19, in other words, the weight of the individuals’ actions in these turbulent times. This and more are reviewed in the interview, providing a perspicuous and informative portrayal of hygienical, virological responsibilities that everyone can take upon themselves to help to combat the pandemical crisis of our modern world.

FIND OUT MORE
2021 June 22
News Image
A new flagship, stepping out into the private sector from 10 years of professional activity in molecular diagnostics – an interview with Dr Zalán Péterfi, Vascular Diagnostics’ Research Director by the Növekedés, a leading journal for Hungarian entrepreneurs.
Competent experience, professional knowledge, and infrastructural preparedness, the triumvirate that describes best Dr Zalán Péterfi’s company, the Vascular Diagnostics, both in the medical field and in the market of diagnostics. The company with 10 years of experience in testing mostly for state orders with molecular methods has accumulated a stable infrastructure, averting the shortage caused by the pandemic concerning medical equipment, and a high-quality human resource, highly trained in medicine and economics from the most prestigious universities around the world, among its ranks, now steps into the field of the private sector to fill the high-demand role of a testing laboratory. Because of this combination, their expertise is ready to show proof to the public of their excellence in the testing and diagnostic for Covid-19 samples. In the interview, Dr Péterfi informs us about why their role in the market is crucial and why their work quality is well above the standard of a sector of which is filled with companies that still try to grasp the how-to of diagnostics.

FIND OUT MORE
2021 May 15
UCC announces launching of COMBI-X project
Uzsoki Cardiovascular Center launched its COMBI-X project aimed at a fixed-dose combination medicine for migraine prophylaxis. The project is based on the discovery of a synergistic effect between two drugs with well-established use in other indications and suppressing also mechanisms involved in pathophysiology of frequent episodic and chronic migraine, conditions of debilitating headache that require preventive treatment. Thus, this project exploits the inventive pharmaceutical research concepts of ’repurposing’ and taking the advantages of beneficial combinations. The preclinical development program was launched in collaboration with a Research Group at the University of Pécs, headed by Prof. Erika Pintér and Prof. Zsuzsanna Helyes, having high reputation in the field of Pain Research.
2021 April 16
We have moved to a new location
We are excited to announce that the VRG-team has moved from our previous location (1022 Budapest, Herman Ottó u. 15.) to a new address near to the city centre of Budapest (1083 Budapest, Füvészkert u.3.). The reason for the move is that the vast expansion of the company’s R&D projects (1 to 6, from 2017 to 2021) requires not only a larger research facility for the equipment but also more room for the grooving team. Our new “home” Research Facility is a renovated 3-story building sitting in the middle of the so-called “Clinics” area in Budapest near to lots of Clinical Buildings and Academic Research facilities. The new Research Building is equipped with the latest technology and the laboratories are custom made to fit our R&D purposes. We believe this “move” will boost up our productivity in the next few years.
2021 April 1
News Image
New member to the team
We are proud to announce Peter Kovács joined our R&D team on April 1st, 2021, as project manager / portfolio manager. Peter has Biology M.Sc., Chemistry B.Sc. and Neurobiology Ph.D. diplomas. Peter has extensive experience in Academic basic research in Hungary (University of Pécs) and in the US, including 4 years as a Postdoctoral researcher at Penn State College of Medicine, resulting in 13 research papers, approximately 100 international congress presentations, 8 awarded grants in Hungary and in the US, including an R01 Co-Investigator role. He worked in the last 12 years in Pharma R&D and Medical Affairs roles at various global pharma companies, including 6 years at Gedeon Richter Plc. And 3 years at GSK, resulting in: 7 launched preclinical drug discovery programs, 2 of which have successfully reached clinical phase, 5 research papers and 1 international patent application. Additionally to his R&D experience, he gained significant expertise in Medico-marketing positioning and driving Healthcare professional (HCP) communication covering a variety of therapeutic areas of Rx and OTC drugs, acting in Medical Advisor, Medical Manager, and Medical Director roles. He has extensive Pharma R&D project management and portfolio management experience, mostly in small molecule Central Nervous System R&D at Gedeon Richter Plc. Finally, Peter possesses significant leadership experiences, including Department Head and Country Head positions in Pharma R&D (4 years) and in Medical Affairs (4 years), including Area Medical Affairs Head position at GSK for 3 years. We believe that Peter’s background and skills will strengthen our Company’s preclinical project management and portfolio management capabilities.

2021 April 1
News Image
New member to the team
We are excited to announce that Attila Brunyánszki, Ph.D., is joining Vascular Research Group as Head of Laboratory on April 1st,2021. Brunyánszki brings his extended cell biology, molecular biology and project lead expertise in peptide-based drug design research and development. He will play an important role in our experimental research, laboratory management, development plan design and extension building new platforms and services.

2021 March 12
UCC announces obtaining the IP rights of COMBI-X
Uzsoki Cardiovascular Center has entered into a contract with the inventors to develop the invention COMBI-X. The project aims to exploit a novel discovery in drug research. The discovery is the recognition of a synergistic effect between two drugs with well-established use in other indications. The discovery was based on an experimental animal model suitable for characterizing the efficacy of drugs for the prevention of migraine attacks. Based on the discovery, it is expected that a fixed-combination medicine of two drugs with different mechanisms will allow better migraine prophylaxis than currently available drugs. The combination product to be developed is expected to be more effective than current therapies, to have a favourable side effect profile, and to be effective also in cases of treatment resistance.

2020 December 31
Vascular Research Group files its first patent application
Vascular Research Group (VRG) successfuly files its first patent protection claim after reaching major project milestonein CTX analogue development. With the aim to develop new chlorotoxin analogues with improved affinity and selectivity for cancer cells, VRGidentified hit molecules utilizing directed evolution through phage display. After demonstrating the new variants’ superior binding to the interaction partner of native CTX, VRG started developing its first lead molecules by implementing rationally designed amino acid mutations in order to synthesizefluorophore and cytotoxic conjugates. As a major milestone, these new conjugates retained their improved affinity and specificity to the target protein. Next, they will be tested in cell based and in vivo experiments. To protect our findings and the developed chemical space we filed in our patent application, and VRG can now proudly present that all 33 claims have been accepted, satisfying the requirements in all three major criteria: novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability.

2020 December 22
VRG announces winning a Doctoral Scholarship in 2020
Our PhD student, Patrik Szekér of Vascular Research Group submitted and won a four-year doctoral scholarship for the implementation of the Cooperative Doctoral Programme (KDP) in collaboration with the Department of Molecular Biology Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Semmelweis University. The Cooperative Doctoral Programme aims to extend the knowledge of the PhD students while making use of their expertise to the benefit of society and the economy. Participants of the programme (grantee, PhD supervisor, corporate expert, doctoral school) receive together approximately HUF 12 100 000 funding per year.
2020 March 23
VRG announces launching of Kv1.3 project
Vascular Research Group launched its Kv1.3 project (Developing a novel, KCNA3 channel specific, autoimmune inhibitor molecule family) aimed to develop selective and sable Kv1.3 inhibitory molecules by a sort of in vitro evolution. There is a huge unmet medical need for less immunosuppressive treatments of autoimmune diseases with diminished adverse effect profile. Kv1.3-channel is currently being considered the main target for treating a range of autoimmune diseases since it is highly expressed in effector memory T-cells (Tem). The overactive and autoreactive T-cells that contribute to the pathogenesis of many autoimmune diseases are mainly effector memory T-cells (Tem), which can thus be preferentially suppressed by selective KV1.3 blockers without affecting naive and central memory T-cells (Tcm) cells. Our technology platform is able to produce and screen a library of a million potential Kv1.3-targeting molecules, for the Kv1.3 channel to select specific Kv1.3 blockers with ex vivo and in vivo proof of concept.

2019 December 12
VRG announces winning grant support for Kv1.3 project
Vascular Venture (VV) had submitted a grant application entitled “Developing a novel, KCNA3 channel specific, autoimmune inhibitor molecule family” (project identification number: 2019-1.1.1-PIACI-KFI-2019-00127) to the Hungarian National Office for Research, Development and Innovation. For the implementation of the project, VV now received a total of HUF 322 219 918 non-refundable support by the decision of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology. Start of implementation of the project: 23rd March, 2020 ; planned deadline for completion: 23rd March, 2023.

2018 January 5
Vascular Venture wins NKFI grant
Vascular Venture (VV) successfuly secures NKFI grant with the aim to develop new, glioblastomatargeting drug candidates. Vascular Venture first R&D project „Development of new MMP-2 selective CTX analogs, targeting MMP-2 overexpressing tumor cells, from scorpion venom” (ID number: KFI_16-1-2017-0524) acquired 493.47 million HUF non-refundable support from the Hungarian National Office for Research, Development and Innovation to pursue peptidebased designer drug discovery. Chlorotoxin (CTX), a small cysteine-rich peptide, isolated from the venom of the Deathstalker scorpion, has been in the focus of peptide based drug development due to its preferential binding to glioblastoma and other type of cancer cells with neuroectodermal origin. Applying directed evolution technology, VV’s ultimate goal is to develop new analogues of CTX with improved affinity and specificity forcancer cells. These new variants would then serve asdiagnostic and/or therapeutic tool. Fluorophore labelled CTX can specifically stain tumor tissues helping surgical intervention, whereas cytotoxic CTX conjugates can hypothetically act as warhead targeting and killing cancer cells only.

2018 January
News Image
New member to the team
Sándor Farkas (MD, PhD) has joined Vascular in January 2018 at the time of foundation of the Research Group, initially as drug R&D consultant, which was later converted to a chief scientist role with full-time engagement. He is a non-clinical pharmacologist and drug developer with 33 years of experience in the pharma industry before becoming a freelance consultant in 2015. Areas of expertise include all phases of early drug development from target identification to non-clinical support of clinical development. He has particular expertise in electrophysiology, safety pharmacology and integrated assessment of efficacy/safety profiles, which was gained by supporting development of numerous drug candidates reaching various clinical stages and some also marketing authorisation. He is author of 38 scientific publications and co-inventor of 23 patent applications, involving 6 innovative drug candidates that reached clinical development.
2023 October 10
News Image
Biotech Days 2023 Pécs
Our colleague, Patrik Szekér participated in the International Biotech Days 2023 organized by the Hungarian Biotechnology Student Association, and gave a talk on our Kv1.3 asset aiming to cure autoimmune diseases. The event was supported by VRG Therapeutics.

Our website uses cookies to provide your browsing experience and relavent informations. Before continuing to use our website, you agree & accept of our Cookie Policy & Privacy