Curiosity of misfolding
Chris Dobson (later Sir Chris Dobson) is intrigued by a rare variant of the protein lysozyme, which misfolds leading to disease. This unusual behaviour is seen by others as simply a “one-off” curiosity.
A generic phenomenon
Contrary to current thinking, Chris realises that misfolding & aggregation ought to be a general phenomenon, and he demonstrates surprisingly that seemingly “ordinary” proteins can in fact misfold & aggregate.
Links to toxicity & disease
Through several important studies, Chris and co-authors show that the rates at which protein variants misfold can predict disease progression and that not all shapes & sizes of aggregates are equally toxic.
Kinetic theory breakthrough
Overcoming major theoretical challenges, our scientific founders introduce the kinetic theory for protein aggregation, immediately revealing new and powerful mechanistic breakthroughs.
Recognising the potential
With the goal of translating our groundbreaking science, Elan and the University of Cambridge launch a new center for innovation and drug discovery focused on translational research into therapies for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, led by Wren's Founders.
First rate law & mechanism
Combining kinetic theory with new experimental protocols, we map the misfolding pathway for Alzheimer’s disease, revealing the central role of feedback loops in the generation of toxic aggregates.
In an important step towards understanding how to modulate protein misfolding, we reveal for the first time how our natural protective mechanisms selectively control the misfolding pathway.
First rational inhibitor
We identify - for the first time - the molecular mechanism of a small molecule protein misfolding inhibitor. Building on this, we develop a new data-driven approach to rationally optimise inhibitors.
Incubation of Wren
Wren is founded with a mission to generate therapeutics across a wide range of targets associated with protein misfolding diseases, utilising our unique kinetics-based drug discovery platform.
Acceleration of Wren
Wren completes an £18 million Series A financing round from an international syndicate led by The Baupost Group with participation from LifeForce Capital and a number of high net worth individuals.
Building our pipeline
We expand our discovery efforts to 5 misfolding proteins (alpha-synuclein, amyloid-beta, tau, TDP-43, IAPP) which are associated respectively with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, frontotemporal dementia, motor neurone disease and diabetes.