Research Themes Nanomedicine Mercurna a showcase start-up
In 2012, Brock’s research group contacted van der Vlag (theme Renal disorders) to explore whether the known propensity of cationic cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) to accumulate in the kidney could be used as a kidney drug targeting strategy. This led to a first in a series of three innovation grants funded by the Dutch Kidney Foundation. Excitingly, it was shown that glomerular cells carry a receptor for one of the tested peptides which gives the possibility for specific targeting in a range of inflammatory kidney disorders. Following a first place in the start-up competition Venture Challenge, the company Mercurna was founded to develop targeted mRNA-based therapies for chronic inflammatory kidney diseases. Mercurna is also a showcase company in the EFROinitiative ‘Nanomedicine Proeftuin’.