Vice President R&D Operations, Indi Molecular
Protein Catalyzed Capture Agents as Theranostics
Protein catalyzed capture agents (PCCs) are synthetic, macrocyclic peptides designed to bind to specific regions (epitopes) of protein targets with antibody-like performance. A key strategy element is in situ click chemistry, which directs the selection of macrocyclic peptides that recognize a chosen site on a protein surface with high affinity and specificity while retaining the stability and chemical accessibility of synthetic compounds. PCCs are amenable to medicinal chemistry optimization and may be efficiently and selectively modified with radioisotopes, therapeutic functionalities, or other labels during the discovery process. PCCs are currently being deployed as theranostics which combine targeted therapies and precision in vivo PET imaging diagnostics.
Dr. Heather Agnew is Vice President R&D Operations at Indi Molecular, an emerging life sciences company that is developing protein catalyzed capture agents (PCCs) as a synthetic replacement for antibodies. PCCs are developed by using the protein target as a catalytic scaffold to selectively couple acetylene- and azide-presenting peptides, which are selected during the screening of chemically synthesized, macrocyclic peptide libraries. Dr. Agnew holds B.S. degrees in chemistry and biochemistry & molecular biology from Penn State and an M.Phil in chemistry from the University of Cambridge, where she attended as a Gates Cambridge Scholar. She earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Caltech, where she studied in the laboratory of Professor James R. Heath. Dr. Agnew also holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
She received a B.S. in chemistry and a B.S. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Penn State University in 2003, an M.Phil. in chemistry from University of Cambridge in 2005, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Caltech in 2010, where she studied in the laboratory of Professor Jim Heath.
Her awards include the Gates Cambridge Scholarship (2003), NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (2003), and the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Caltech Student Prize (2010).