Base Pair Biotechnologies, Inc., The Aptamer Discovery Company, and Nexmos, Inc., the Aptamer Application R&D Company, announce the creation of a new class of DNA-aptamer based oxidation inhibitors. These molecules stabilize vitamin C, enabling development of new cosmetics, nutraceuticals, beverages and therapeutic agents with longer shelf life and potentially greater efficacy. Nexmos plans to launch the first product containing these molecules in the second half of 2017, as a component of an antioxidant beverage formulation, in collaboration with a major health beverage company.
Aptamers are small DNA or RNA molecules that are selected in vitro to bind specifically to a target because they fold into a shape that fits their target. Targets can be cells, viruses, proteins, small molecules or metabolites. Manufacture uses well-established synthetic chemistry methods, providing high purity and minimal batch to batch variability. At scale, aptamer manufacture can cost significantly less than more commonly used affinity agents such as antibodies. Aptamers are also relatively stable, non-toxic, and biodegradable. While aptamers with enzymatic activity are well known, these are the first aptamers known to inhibit oxidative damage.
"Base Pair addressed a significant need with this project," said Bill Jackson, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Scientist at Base Pair. "Creating a new aptamer that's selective for its target is like throwing a bucket of keys at a lock and hoping one sticks in the keyhole. Finding an aptamer that not only binds vitamin C but also inhibits its oxidation is like throwing a bucket of keys at a locked door and having one not only fit, but turn, unlock and open the door."
"We are tremendously excited about the potential for this new class of molecules," said Nelson Son, CEO, Founder of Nexmos. Nexmos will market the aptamer-vitamin complexes under the trade name, APTAMIN™. APTAMIN™ C, the first Aptamin product, solves the fundamental stability problem of vitamin C which has limited its applications.
DNA synthesis has in the past been used to generate tools for research use, therapeutic use, forensics, and diagnostics. In most cases DNA and RNA aptamers are used as capture or detection reagents. This is the first time a synthetically manufactured DNA aptamer has been shown to be useful for general consumer products.
"We are pleased Base Pair agreed to work with us to develop aptamers to additional targets, including vitamins, food supplements, and human diagnostic biomarkers," said Mr. Son. The approach used by Base Pair to stabilize vitamin C can be used to identify and create molecules that stabilize other targets, including small molecule drugs. Base Pair and Nexmos are in the process of initiating the next series of development projects to create aptamers that stabilize other commercially important molecules.
SOURCE Base Pair Biotechnologies, Inc.