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Contact Mart Ustav Jr

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Icosagen Therapeutics is the mammalian protein drug development arm within the Icosagen Group. We are creating innovative human biopharmaceutical drug candidates and products up to Phase I/IIa clinical studies. To do so, we attract top scientists locally and globally to conduct state-of-the-art biopharmaceutic research in Estonia, and we take advantage of Icosagen Cell Factory’s CRDMO expertise and capabilities.

Our therapeutic focus is on oncology, immuno-oncology, infectious diseases, and pain, with a particular focus on multi-pass transmembrane proteins. We welcome external collaborations on molecule candidates, as well as on technology platforms, to bring novel therapeutics to patients even faster.


COVID-19 Antibody S ARS-Co V -2 Spi k e protein Neuropathic pain Antibody 3 undisclosed HP V - associated cancer Small molecule HPV replication 21 undisclosed 1 undisclosed lead candidate Indication Molecule t ype T arget Disc o v ery Preclinical Phase I Phase II Phase III Antibody Cancer cell metabolism

sIgA antibody therapeutics

The current antibody therapeutics market targeting respiratory and gastrointestinal viruses is mostly restricted due to the limitations of IgG molecules and their administration by non-inhalable (e. g. ) intra-venous injection only. 

Icosagen is developing sIgA platform that enables to reformat existing therapeutic antibodies against respiratory and gastrointestinal viruses into an IgA isotype administrated by nebulization. 

BioBlock® nasal spray

BioBlock®, a nasal spray containing bovine antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, is produced in collaboration with Estonian scientists and entrepreneurs with the intention to prevent the spread of the virus.

The concept of colostrum-derived nasal spray is led by Professor Mart Ustav.

HPV inhibitors


Icosagen has identified 5 compounds that inhibit HPV18 genome amplification in low micromolar range. None of the identified compounds inhibit E1 and E2 dependent URR replication. Besides viral genome amplification, four out of five compounds successfully inhibited the stable maintenance phase of the viral replication. In addition, three compounds inhibited vegetative amplification of the viral genome, which takes place in highly differentiated upper epithelia.

These inhibitors or their analogues are therefore capable of eliminating different stages of HPV infection. The identified compounds do not inhibit E1 and E2 independent URR replication, indicating that different cellular protein could be used to facilitate HPV genome replication and/or that the replication mechanism of viral genome differs from the URR plasmid replication. 

Nasal vaccines

Icosagen is participating in the development of inhalable vaccines led by ISR Vaccine AB in Sweden targeting SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses such as influenza and RSV. The lead candidate, the dry powder nasal vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, has reached Phase I/II clinical trials. The first-in-human study is conducted with 150 volunteers at two qualified study sites in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Vaccine and infection naïve volunteers will be randomized to receive 2 vaccine doses or placebo 4 weeks apart. The study subjects will be monitored for safety in addition to specific T cell and immunoglobulin immune responses. 

For inquiries about Icosagen Therapeutics,
please contact Mart Ustav Jr, Ph.D.

Mart Ustav jr
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