Selective Termination of Protein Synthesis (STOPS) – Initial’s unique platform for “drugging the undruggable”

Drug discovery typically involves interaction of pharmaceutical agents with fully formed proteins. However, only a fraction of proteins encoded by the genome have characteristics that lend themselves to treatment with a pharmaceutical intervention. Many important targets have earned a reputation of being “undruggable.”

Initial Therapeutics redefines the rules of “druggability” with an original mode of action: selective termination of protein synthesis (STOPS).

Initial’s proprietary STOPS platform, composed of a bespoke suite of technologies and capabilities, enables us to discover small molecules that work to intercept the translation of target proteins in the exit tunnel of the ribosome with a high degree of selectivity for the specific target of interest.

With this approach, we seek to stop pathogenic protein formation—and disease processes—in their initial stages.

Initial Therapeutics offers an earlier and distinctly different point of therapeutic intervention than protein homeostasis and degradation

Going after Medicine’s Most Wanted targets

Initial Therapeutics is focused on pursuing notorious disease-causing targets that have eluded drug hunters to date. Our approach is designed to block translation of known, high-value targets in cancer and other life-threatening illnesses that have proved difficult to drug… so far.

Initial’s approach offers several advantages relative to conventional approaches, such as protein degradation, that target the fully formed protein.

An advantage of our STOPS modality, which interrupts protein formation in a nascent stage, is that modulating the cellular activity of known, well-validated targets does not require prior characterization of the mature protein target’s structure or the presence of druggable binding pockets in the mature protein.

Moreover, preventing protein formation avoids aggregate formation and other disease-related molecular pathologies that are difficult to reverse. Our hypothesis is that earlier intervention in disease processes may offer therapeutic benefit.