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RiboStruct, laureate of i-LAB 2017 (French national Innovative Startup Challenge)

From left to right: Marat Yusupov, Jean-Paul Renaud and Gulnara Yusupova.

July 6, 2017

Already laureate in 2014 in the "Émergence" category, RiboStruct, created end of 2015, aims at the development of drugs targeting the ribosome. Its appointment on July 6th as one of the winners of the national i-LAB 2017 competition in the "Création Développement" category confirms the legitimacy of the project and allow the company to start hiring staff.

The ribosome is the cellular machinery that synthetize proteins from genetic information. Specialists of this structure, the IGBMC researchers Gulnara Yuspova and Marat Yusupov constantly push back the limits of knowledge on this huge nucleoprotein complex, deciphering its different conformations, alone or bound to other molecules, in order to reveal all its secrets and to better understand the vital biological process of protein synthesis. Led by Jean-Paul Renaud, former researcher in their team, RiboStruct aims to leverage this expertise in order to develop therapeutic solutions by targeting the ribosome.
For all genetic diseases, 10-15% cases are caused by a nonsense mutation, i.e. a point mutation in the coding sequence of a gene introducing a premature stop codon, the deleterious effect of which essentially arises from the abolition of the production of the corresponding full-length protein. Compounds such as aminoglycosides are able to bind to the ribosome decoding site and allow the ribosome to overcome the premature stop codon. This mechanism, called "readthrough", partially restores the synthesis of the full-length protein at the cost of the introduction of a point mutation that in most cases does not affect the function. In favorable cases, the synthesis of the full-length protein, even in small amounts, provides a therapeutic benefit. Starting from the structure of the whole yeast ribosome in complex with an aminoglycoside (Garreau de Loubresse et al., 2014 Nature 513: 517-522), RiboStruct is trying to design more efficient and less toxic analogues in the goal of developing new drugs.
The financial support provided by i-LAB 2014 was used to fund an initial study carried out by NovAliX, another IGBMC spin-off co-founded by Jean-Paul Renaud, to ensure RiboStruct's property on a few starting chemical series. Jean-Paul Renaud is also in advanced discussion with investors to fund the R&D programme. His appointment on July 6th as a laureate of the i-LAB 2017 competition in the "Création Développement" category by the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation is timely and will support the project by allowing the company to start hiring staff.

Contact : Jean-Paul Renaud jpr@ribostruct.com

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