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Isogenica, Biolauncher and Cresset Biomolecular Discovery forge alliance to bring powerful target-to-drugs platform to market

cressetIsogenica Ltd today announced a collaborative joint venture with Biolauncher Ltd (Cambridge, UK) and Cresset Biomolecular Discovery Ltd (Welwyn Garden City, UK) to develop an innovative end-to-end therapeutic discovery platform. Under the terms of the collaboration the parties will integrate their expertise in peptide library design, evolutionary screening, next generation sequencing, state of the art structural analytics, and molecular field-based computational chemistry to identify active compounds against high-value therapeutic targets.  

The new approach harnesses the vast chemical and conformational diversity of very large (1014) peptide libraries to explore available chemical space around a novel biological target.  Enrichment of the peptide libraries towards greater specificity for the target is driven by an advanced computational biology system that is also used to identify the active conformations of populations of binding peptides.  These binding peptide conformations can then be translated into a high quality field pharmacophore (a drug template) and used to identify drug-like small molecules for testing.  This integrated set of technologies represents a unique platform that can rapidly and cost effectively progress a drug target to structurally diverse small molecule drug leads without recourse to high throughput screening.

Elements of the platform have been proven by the parties in collaboration with their own customers. The approach has been shown to be compatible with both extracellular and intracellular targets enabling a large proportion of the druggable genome to be evaluated. The next step is to validate the joint venture's approach with third party drug targets.

The alliance illustrates how innovative companies are adapting to the changing pharmaceutical research and development business and the current equity funding gap. The collaboration has leveraged non-dilutive funding to integrate its proprietary approaches and solve the complex problem of how to discover small molecule leads against drug targets using a rapid and cost effective rational process.  The partners will develop and provide access to the system through an open innovation framework rather than through more traditional equity structures.

Kevin Matthews, CEO, Isogenica commented of the collaboration: "We are excited by the potential to integrate cutting edge molecular biology with state of the art computational biology and chemistry tools to develop small molecule drugs against novel targets using the combined expertise of the businesses.  The industry needs to leverage the significant investment in individual platform technologies to address the innovation gap and deliver shareholder value from therapeutic research and development."

"A willingness to collaborate across the partners to deliver proof of concept developments has created a unique opportunity for us to link our world-leading technologies into a platform that can create significant value and opportunities for our underlying businesses," said Rowan Gardner, Chairman, Biolauncher.

"By integrating Cresset's field-based computational chemistry into this platform we will be able to apply our proven approach to more targets and demonstrate how we can find diverse small molecule leads against a range of pharmaceutically interesting new targets" said Rob Scoffin, CEO, Cresset Biomolecular Discovery.

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