Our science

Ladon Therapeutics brings together breakthrough artificial amino acid-based small molecule (A3SMO®) chemistry and a state of the art diagnostic laboratory from gene expression profiling to in vivo disease models to characterize, test and evaluate A3SMO® drug candidates.

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Our vision is to be a pioneering bio-pharmaceutical company that cures debilitating diseases through breakthrough scientific innovations.

Gábor Heltovics
Chief Executive Officer

a paradigm shift

A3SMO® – Artificial Amino Acid-based Small Molecules platform is a breakthrough solutions to custom design self-organizing compounds, increase compound drug-likeness and create first-in-class medicines to treat patients with major unmet clinical needs

The utilization of artificial amino acids enhances the stability of the 3D conformation. This results in an entropically more favoured receptor binding profile.

Longer half-life under physiological condition due to resistance to hydrolysis and enzymatic digestion.

The introduction of positively charged residues in combination with a restricted secondary structure enables cell-membrane penetration.

Ladon animation


Low stability​
High specificity​
Short half-life​
Low permeability​
Low immunogenicity​
Membrane permeability​
Low biodistribution​
Oral bioavailability​
High COGS​
Wang, L., Wang, N., Zhang, W. et al. Therapeutic peptides: current applications and future directions. Sig Transduct Target Ther 7, 48 (2022).​

Structure based A3SMO® design for
protein surface binding​

A3SMO® overcomes the limitation both of small molecules and biologics. These ligands can interact with protein surfaces with high affinity and selectivity. The drawbacks of biologics are overcome by A3SMO®: oral bioavailability, lack of immunogenicity, better tissue penetration, etc.​

Small molecules​

Small concave pocket is needed for stable binding​

Smaller interacting surface is available​

Unable to bind to large, flat interacting surfaces due to​:

  • its inability to exclude bound water molecules
  • the small number suitable interaction points


A3SMO® readily binds to large, water exposed interacting surfaces​

Able to block PPIs​

A3SMO® with stable 3D structure offers:​

  • Higher number of interaction points
  • Larger binding surface
  • Higher number of water molecules can be excluded
  • Chiral discrimination​


Can interact with larger molecular surfaces​

Poor delivery efficiency of binding moiety as large, non-interacting scaffold is needed for molecular stability​

Able to block PPIs​


No oral bioavailability​​


Gastro-intestinal stability and half-life​

Gastro-intestinal stability​

A3SMO® is resistant to acidic pH and to enzymatic cleavage by pepsin.​

A3SMO® is resistant to water hydrolysis at neutral pH and to enzymatic cleavage by trypsin.​

At pH 1.2

At pH 1.2

At pH 7.4

At pH 7.4 & trypsin

Significantly increased half-life​

The difference between the A3SMO® and the reference compound includes β-amino acid substitution(s)​

The A3SMO® has a significantly longer half-life​

High throughput A3SMO® platform

HT based artificial amino acid-based small molecules synthesis and target identification & validation significantly reduce time to select lead candidates for drug development.

Robotized, automated synthesis

AI Computational design

Robotized synthesis

Automated purifiction

Target validation

Gene expression analysis​

Protein expression analysis​



Immunofluorescent staining​

2D cell culture models

3D organoid culture models​

Signal transduction pathways​

In vitro disease modelling​

In vivo disease modelling​

In vivo drug distribution analysis

Formulation strategies for A3SMO®delivery​

A3SMO® are regulated by the FDA as small molecules​

Robust and scalable manufacturing process​

Traditional formulation approaches​

Specialized CDMOs for commercial scale manufacturing ​

Comparable COGs with small molecule development and manufacturing​

Oral drug delivery​


A3SMO® are regulated by the FDA as small molecules​

Robust and scalable manufacturing process​


A3SMO® are regulated by the FDA as small molecules​

Robust and scalable manufacturing process​

Immediate release tablets

Delayed release tablets

Controlled release tablets

Pulmonary drug delivery​

Metered-dose inhaler (MDI) ​

Dry powder inhaler (DPI)​

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