PhaseBio’s proprietary elastin-like polypeptide (ELP) biopolymer technology is a unique approach to the development of biologic drugs that have superior characteristics and are economical to manufacture. Our ELP biopolymer technology:

  • Enables the production of highly potent biopharmaceuticals with improved pharmacokinetics
  • Utilizes a unique mechanism of slow absorption through a reversible phase transition and a prolonged circulatory half-life
  • Can be efficiently manufactured with low cost of goods
  • Enables the use of a simple formulation, providing opportunities for co-formulation

The technology is based on recombinant ELP biopolymers, to which peptides and proteins can be genetically fused (ELP fusion proteins) and small molecule drugs can be chemically conjugated (ELP drug conjugates). The individual subunit or building blocks of ELPs are derived from a five amino-acid motif found in nature in the human protein elastin. This five amino-acid motif is repeated multiple times to form the ELP biopolymer.

The ELP fusion proteins undergo a fully reversible phase transition, or coacervation, which differentiates our approach from other technologies. Through molecular engineering, ELPs can be designed to undergo this phase transition just below body temperature. This leads to the formation of an effective depot at the site of injection, followed by a slow and controlled uptake into the circulation and a longer circulating half-life.

PhaseBio’s lead compound PB1046 is engineered with an ELP biopolymer to provide weekly dosing. Our ELP biopolymers can also be designed to provide faster or slower uptake from the injection site enabling the development of convenient and patient-friendly dosing regimens.

PhaseBio has previously conducted clinical trials with PE0139, a novel, super-long-acting basal insulin, and PB1023, a recombinant GLP-1 analogue genetically fused to ELP biopolymer. Studies with both PE0139 and PB1023 demonstrated safety, a flat pharmacokinetic profile and pharmacodynamic activity over the course of a week. However, PhaseBio is no longer pursuing these candidates due to changes in the competitive environment for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Additional details on our ELP biopolymer technology can be found here:

PhaseBio ELP Technology Platform