In the USA alone there are estimated to be 15 million people with NASH growing to 27 million by 2030. Some of these patients will progress rapidly to cirrhosis and liver failure whereas others will live for decades without any affect on quality of life. Currently, there is no way to determine which patients will progress and which will not. Many NASH therapeutics are close to market with one applying for NDA and multiple others in phase 2 and 3 clinical trials. These drugs are very expensive with a yearly patient costs being estimated at $20,000. Without patient stratification between progressors and non-progressors the clinicians, patients and medical insurance companies will have a significant problem in determining which patients need to be treated and when. 3Helix’s solution is a IHC probe that binds denatured collagen called collagen hybridization peptides or CHPs. This proprietary technology allows for the visualization of the activity, growing or stable, of the fibrotic scar. Preliminary studies with biliary atresia show that CHP staining has a prognostic value over the current standard for staining of liver biopsies. 3Helix is testing the CHP staining with a large cohort of NASH biobank tissues, led by Dr. Alastair Burt. Additional, uses for the CHP technology include research use only IHC staining, and in vivo imaging, cosmetic active ingredients, and medical imaging. 3Helix is actively looking for partnerships and investment to further development of our CHP platform in clinical diagnostics and cosmetics.
Our technology is a short peptide called collagen hybridization peptides or CHPs. The peptides are backed by 3 granted patents which are exclusively licensed from JHU and UU. Two additional method patents are in the provisional application stage, providing a strong IP portfolio. CHPs are s a synthetic peptide sequence with typically 6 to 10 repeating units of the Gly-Xaa-Yaa amino acid triplet, which mimics the hallmark sequence of natural collagens. A CHP peptide usually possesses a high content of Proline and Hydroxyproline in the Xaa and Yaa positions, which confers it a strong propensity to form the collagen’s unique triple helix conformation. In the single-stranded (monomeric) status, the peptide can recognize denatured collagen strands in tissues by forming a hybridized triple helix with the collagen strands. This platform can be used in vivo (for medical imaging, cosmetic active ingredients and drug delivery), in vitro (for histology, gel staining, and quality control).