ProFuse™: Engineering Proteins for Human Healthcare

Asterion’s technology harnesses Nature’s use of binding proteins in a simple but revolutionary way.  Many hormones are carried by binding proteins in the circulation.  Nature uses binding proteins to limit clearance of the hormone from the body.  The hormone circulates bound to its binding protein but is in dynamic equilibrium with free hormone. The bound inactive hormone has a prolonged circulating half-life through reduced clearance whilst the free hormone is available to act at its cell surface receptor and trigger its biological actions.

In essence, the complex of the hormone with its binding protein creates an inactive intravascular store of protein which is constantly releasing active hormone to facilitate prolonged action at the tissue level.

Cytokine signals a cell to divide


ProFuseTM creates AFTTM drugs

Asterion has created a range of technologies that harness this aspect of Nature to create biopharmaceuticals with important commercial attributes.

Asterion’s foundation technology links a ligand to the extracellular domain of its receptor, in effect providing the ligand with its own native binding protein within a single molecular entity.  Asterion have called this technological approach ProFuse™ and have shown that it can be applied to a range of cytokine and non-cytokine families and targets.

As predicted from Nature, Asterion has found that the resultant fusion proteins have exceptionally good pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties.  ProFuse™ generates products with greatly reduced clearance and prolonged biological action whilst retaining specificity and use of native proteins.  Furthermore, because this fusion mimics the natural situation where a ligand forms a complex with its natural receptor, the Asterion molecules are likely to be seen as natural by the host.

Asterion has termed the resultant fusion products AFT™ drugs and we believe that these proprietary, long-acting and potent therapeutic proteins can deliver improved, third generation versions of already approved and commercially successful drugs.