Tick-Derived Therapeutic Molecules With Akari Therapeutics' Rachelle Jacques
Ticks are a scourge. They're vectors of multiple serious and debilitating diseases, and evolution has made them perfectly adept at attaching to their hosts—and potentially spreading those diseases virtually undetected— that ability owing to anti-inflammatory and anesthetic proteins in their saliva. But the emerging biotech Akari Therapeutics thinks there's a broad range of medicinal value in those proteins. They've painstakingly developed a recombinant version of one such tick saliva-derived protein, called nomacopan, and put it to work in phase 3 trials to treat rare but deadly severe hematopoietic stem cell transplant-related thrombotic microangiopathy (HSCT-TMA). On this week's episode of the Business of Biotech, Akari President & CEO Rachelle Jacques tells us about the redeeming qualities of tick saliva and how her company is putting it to work.