Tagworks Pharmaceuticals

In this section we give a stage to start-ups and scale-ups that develop groundbreaking products or services. This time: Tagworks Pharmaceuticals from Nijmegen.

What kind of technology is Tagworks developing?

Marc Robillard, CEO at Tagworks: "Tagworks is active in the field of 'click chemistry'. In this, two molecules can react (click) with each other very quickly and specifically, even though many other molecules are present. Our click chemistry works even in very complex environments such as the human body. Thus, it makes a great contribution to medical science. Consequently, there is much recognition for what we do, as evidenced by the fact that in 2022 the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to the pioneers of our field. Tagworks itself recently raised as much as US$65 million in an investment round. That indicates how promising our technology is."

What makes your technology unique?

"Many side effects occur because drugs are administered in active form and end up all over the body. So you would prefer that the drug be active only where it is needed, for example in a tumor, and leave other parts of the body alone.

At Tagworks, we can do that using click chemistry. Normally in click chemistry, you bind two molecules together and it stops there. This can be very useful, but we go one step further. We design our molecules in such a way that an active drug is released after that 'click'. In addition, we can add all kinds of other functionalities to our molecules.

If we first give molecule A to a patient, it collects on the tumor. This is because of a tumor-binding part. Then we administer molecule B to the patient, which can only react with molecule A. Because molecule A is mainly on the tumor, molecule B reacts almost exclusively there. After the click reaction, the active drug is released and can attack the tumor directly."

What are your plans for the near future?

"We will use the investment to clinically test our molecules and further improve our technology. In doing so, we want to expand our strong patent position, with help from V.O."

Learn more about Tagworks on www.tagworkspharma.com