Staying ahead of viral threats with new innovations in antiviral therapy

Red Queen Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company preparing rapid responses to current and emerging pathogens that threaten human health and life.

Our novel plug-and-play antiviral platform, based on stapled peptide decoys, can be rapidly deployed against pandemic and pandemic-potential viruses, as well as other viruses that cause recurring, untreated disease.

Science & Platform

Our name refers to the Red Queen hypothesis in evolutionary biology, which posits that species constantly compete in a race to be predator rather than prey. Red Queen’s novel, patented technology works to outcompete viral evolution, to protect humanity from dangerous illnesses.

Our platform is based on stapled peptides that prevent viral fusion to the host cell membrane, thereby preventing entry of the virus and infection.

These stapled peptide therapeutics can be formulated and delivered in various ways, via nasal spray, inhaler, or injection.

Stapled helical peptide chemistry resolves the shortcomings of peptide therapeutics

2. Insert non-natural
     amino acids

3. Chemically "staple" the peptide

  • Restores alpha-helical
    structure to bioactive peptides
  • Confers proteolytic resistance

1. Unstructured peptide

  • Loss of functional shape
  • Easily degraded
  • Poor pharmacology

3. Stapled peptide

  • Stabilized structure
  • Not degraded
  • Tissue persistence

Red Queen’s therapeutics target a conserved sequence area of a virus that is constrained from mutating and conserved across species. This means that they can be used across the entire viral species and against future variants.

Our target is the six-helix bundle fusion mechanism of viral infection.

Structural similarities across targets allow for the rapid deployment of our approach across a range of viral illnesses.

Red Queen can develop a candidate for an emerging viral threat within weeks.

Publications

Hydrocarbon double-stapling remedies the proteolytic instability of a lengthy peptide therapeutic (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, July 2010)

Distinct BimBH3 (BimSAHB) stapled peptides for structural and cellular studies (ACS Chemical Biology, January 2014)

Hydrocarbon-stapled peptides: principles, practice, and progress (Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, March 2014)

Mucosal delivery of a double-stapled RSV peptide prevents nasopulmonary infection (Journal of Clinical Investigation, April 2014)

A stapled lipopeptide platform for preventing and treating highly pathogenic viruses of pandemic potential (Nature Communications, January 2024)

Disease Areas & Pipeline

Red Queen has designed a broad antiviral platform and collected preclinical data showing its activity against several virulent diseases.

Disease Areas

Ebola

Herpes

Nipah

Parainfluenza
virus (PIV)

RSV

CORONAVIRUSES
(SARS-COV, COMMON
COLD, MERS, ETC)

Influenza

HUMAN
METAPNEUMOVIRUS

Pipeline

PROGRAM

INDICATION

DISCOVERY

PRECLINICAL

PHASE 1/2

RQ-01

SARS-CoV-2

RQ-02

RSV/hMPV/PIV

RQ-03

Pan-Influenza

RQ-04

Ebola/Marburg

RQ-05

Herpes

RQ-01

MERS/Common cold

Potential future products include combination fusion inhibitors in a single spray, and combinations with other antivirals.

News

SARS-CoV-2 clinical trial

Recruitment has ended in RQ-01-001, the Phase 1 clinical trial of RQ-01, an investigative, nasally administered treatment for mild COVID-19. As planned, 66 patients across multiple US locations participated in the trial. Trial results are currently being analyzed.

For more information about our clinical trial in COVID-19, please visit the trial website or clinicaltrials.gov.

Leadership Team

Contact Us

If you are interested in learning more about Red Queen or would like to collaborate with us, please reach out below.

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