a16z Podcast

Degrading Drugs for Problem Proteins: Journal Club now on Bio Eats World (ep 2)

Episode Summary

with @carolynbertozzi @lr_bio This is the second episode in our new show, Bio Eats World, a brand new podcast all about how biology is technology. This show now includes Journal Club, where we discuss groundbreaking research articles, why they matter, what new opportunities they present, and how to take the findings from paper to practice. Be sure to subscribe (and rate if you like) this show, and to learn more about the expanding a16z Podcast network, please go to a16z.com/podnetwork

Episode Notes

Welcome to the second episode of Bio Eats World, a brand new podcast all about how biology is technology. Bio is breaking out of the lab and clinic and into our daily lives -- on the verge of revolutionizing our world in ways we are only just beginning to imagine.

Many diseases are caused by proteins that have gone haywire in some fashion. There could be too much of the protein, it could be mutated, or it could be present in the wrong place or time. So how do you get rid of these problematic proteins? In this episode of Journal Club (now on Bio Eats World), Stanford professor Carolyn Bertozzi and host Lauren Richardson discuss the article “Lysosome-targeting chimaeras for degradation of extracellular proteins” by Steven Banik, Kayvon Pedram, Simon Wisnovsky, Green Ahn, Nicholas Riley, and Carolyn Bertozzi, published in Nature (2020).

Dr. Bertozzi and  her lab developed a class of drugs — or modality — that tosses the disease-related proteins into the cellular trash can. While there are other drugs that work through targeted protein degradation, these drugs called LYTACs are able to attack a set of critical proteins, some of which have never been touched by any kind of drug before. The conversation covers how they engineered these new drugs, their benefits, and how they can be further optimized and specialized in the future.