Avilar is pioneering the next frontier in protein degradation by targeting extracellular proteins

Targeted protein degradation has emerged as a powerful new drug modality with applications in a broad range of diseases. To date, protein degradation efforts have been applied successfully to intracellular protein targets. Avilar is now expanding the reach and therapeutic potential of protein degradation to the broad universe of extracellular proteins.


ATACs are a new class of degraders for targeting extracellular proteins

The asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGPR) is an endocytotic cell surface receptor that plays a key role in a natural process through which endogenous proteins are internalized into hepatocytes and degraded. ATACs (ASGPR Targeting Chimeras) are designed to harness this natural ASGPR degradation pathway. ATACs are bi-functional molecules comprising a ligand that binds to ASGPR, conjugated to a second ligand that binds to a disease-causing extracellular protein. ATACs work by binding to and shuttling disease-causing proteins from circulation to the hepatocyte endolysosome, where the unwanted proteins are degraded.

Our drug discovery platform enables the modular design and assembly of ATACs to target diverse proteins

We have built a modular and scalable drug discovery platform for the design and assembly of ATACs that target a wide array of extracellular proteins. Key components of the Avilar drug discovery platform include:

Novel ASGPR Chemistries

Novel ASGPR Chemistries Using an X-ray structure guided approach, we discovered a library of small molecule, high affinity ASGPR ligands that offer monovalent functionality and superior properties versus historical ASGPR binders

Modular Assembly

Modular Assembly Our optimized small molecule ASGPR ligands are modular and can be efficiently incorporated into ATACs with different protein binders to target a wide range of disease-causing extracellular proteins

Extracellular Degradation Modeling

Extracellular Degradation Modeling We developed specialized mathematical modeling tools to integrate and predict the unique biophysical, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamic characteristics of ATAC-mediated endocytosis and degradation

Proteome Mapping

Proteome Mapping Proteome mapping is our protein informatics system that extensively catalogues extracellular protein information and enables advanced insights for pipeline target selection, protein binder design, and ATAC development

Using our discovery platform, Avilar is creating a broad and diverse pipeline of ATACs as first-in-class medicines for the treatment of serious diseases.


Daniel Grau, MPhil
CEO & President
Effie Tozzo, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Phil Graham, PhD
Chief Development Officer
Jason Wiles, PhD
VP, Preclinical Development
Kevin Lumb, PhD
VP, Biology
Nanqun Zhu, PhD
Director, DMPK
Srinivasa Karra, PhD
Director, Med Chem
Alison Davis, PhD
Associate Director, Biology
Emilie Castonguay, PhD
Director, Portfolio Strategy

Board of Directors

Milind Deshpande, PhD
Co-Founder & Chairman
Daniel Grau, MPhil
CEO & President
Tess Cameron
Josh Resnick, MD
Marty Freed, MD
Independent Director
Avilar was founded and financed by RA Capital Management and is based in Waltham, MA.
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