Centyrex, Providing Strategy For Small Protein Scaffolds
By Wayne Koberstein
An entrepreneurial venture grows up inside Janssen R&D.
Centyrex is a start-up platform and development company that originated inside J&J’s biopharma R&D organization in 2008. Its platform consists of “alternative scaffolds” (AS), small simple proteins usually associated with monoclonal antibodies but engineered for superior stability. The company’s AS molecules are called “Centyrins.” Although the technology is still in its infancy, AS combined with modern protein engineering allows the design of exceptionally stable proteins that can be administered to patients in new ways. One of the original aims of Centyrex was to develop a normally oral asthma drug delivered directly to the lungs with an inhaler, a device formerly used only for small-molecule drugs. The company has since demonstrated successful inhaler delivery of the drug with its AS technology.