VERAPTUS® products fall into three broad categories: (a) VERAPTUS® diagnostic aptamers, (b) VERAPTUS® therapeutic aptamers, and (c) VERAPTUS® aptamer-prodrugs.
Aptamers are single-stranded DNA or RNA (ssDNA or ssRNA) molecules that can bind to pre-selected targets including proteins and peptides with high affinity and specificity. These molecules can assume a variety of shapes due to their propensity to form helices and single-stranded loops, explaining their versatility in binding to diverse targets. Aptamers are used as sensors, and therapeutic tools, and to regulate cellular processes, as well as to guide drugs to their specific cellular targets.
VERAPTUS® Diagnostic Aptamers - VERAPTUS® diagnostic aptamers are used for tuberculosis, lung cancer, heart health biomarkers, prostate cancer, circulating tumor cells, label free biosensors, immunoassays, point-of-care diagnostics, and proteomics. VERAPTUS® diagnostic aptamers are robust enough to be used in Tier 1 hospitals yet also stable enough to be utilized in less developed regions.
VERAPTUS® Therapeutic Aptamers - VERAPTUS® therapeutic aptamers include VERAPTUS® immune system triggering aptamers and VERAPTUS® aptamer-prodrugs. VERAPTUS® therapeutic aptamers are used for the treatment of bacterial infectious diseases, viral infectious diseases, parasitic infectious diseases, cancer, and lupus. VERAPTUS® therapeutic aptamers offer the ability to selectively target a biologically active component while possessing very low immunogenicity. This gives way to aptamer prodrugs which are used to combat cancer, selectively delivering cancer drugs to the targeted cells while limiting exposure of toxicity to healthy cells. By targeting pertinent markers, VERAPTUS® aptamers are able to treat certain cardiovascular diseases, liver disease, and lung cancer. VERAPTUS® aptamers are also used to treat HIV and hepatitis. In sum, any setting in which antibodies are currently used as therapeutic agents are under consideration for the development of additional VERAPTUS® aptamers.
VERAPTUS® Aptamer-Prodrugs - VERAPTUS® aptamer-prodrugs are pharmaceutical preparations which employ aptamers that can specifically bind to particular proteins found on the surface of cancer cells. The aptamers are then combined with existing CFDA or FDA-approved drugs, creating a single molecule called an aptamer-prodrug. Upon binding to their target, these VERAPTUS® aptamer-prodrugs release the drug cargo directly into the cell, thereby minimizing systemic toxicity. New methods are also being researched to develop aptamer-prodrugs that can home in directly on tumor cells. These methods will allow the production of VERAPTUS® aptamer-prodrugs that could target almost any type of cell.