Tag Archives: drug discovery

HD Biosciences and Anchor Therapeutics Form Collaboration for Co-marketing Pepducin-mediated GPCR Technology

HD Biosciences Co., Ltd (HDB) and Anchor Therapeutics, Inc. today announced that they have formed a strategic collaboration to co-develop and co-market Anchor’s proprietary pepducin technology and provide novel drug development solutions to global pharmaceutical companies with drug discovery efforts focused on G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR).

Pepducins are proprietary lipidated peptide modulators for GPCR signaling. They may stabilize receptor conformation, promote or inhibit dimerization, and modulate interaction of GPCR with signalosome. As a strong research tool, pepducin technology enables high throughput screening (HTS) campaigns for the identification of special class of compounds and allosteric ligands, facilitates biophysical studies via stabilization of GPCRs in different activation states and functionally de-orphanizes GPCRs to provide tools for interrogation of pharmacology in vitro and in vivo.

As a key component of HDB’s plate-based pharmacology service capabilities, GPCR assays and screenings is one of the most active research and development areas that attracts global clients and partners in drug discoveries. With over 200 recombinant GPCR cell lines in house, some of which are orphan receptors, combining a variety assay formats with pepducin technology allows HDB to enhance its capabilities for supporting hit identification, lead discovery and receptor selectivity profiling. The collaboration is also designed to provide broader exposure and accessibility of pepducin technology across pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries through HDB’s global client base. HDB’s clients will gain unprecedented access to not only the pepducin screening platform but also HDB-Anchor’s joint expertise in GPCR research.

“Anchor’s pepducin technology has provided a novel approach to search very special GPCR related compounds that have potential to alter the receptor functions. We believe this technology will be very valuable in GPCR related drug discovery.” commented Dr. Xuehai Tan, President and Chief Executive Officer of HDB. “As one of the global leaders in biology focused contract research services, HDB emphasizes on innovative and scientific driven technologies in order to deliver extra value to our clients. The partnership between HDB and Anchor is a perfect example to demonstrate our commitment to grow the expertise and strengthen our leadership in GPCR R&D.” Dr. Tan continues his comments.

“Anchor Therapeutics is extremely pleased to partner its pepducin technology with HD Biosciences, one of the leading companies providing state of the art high throughput screening services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients,” said Thomas J. McMurry, PhD, Anchor’s Interim President. Dr. McMurry continued, “Through this collaboration, Anchor and HDB will expand the validation of pepducin high throughput screening probes in order to provide HDB’s clients with access to innovative screens designed to facilitate access to novel small molecule pharmacophores.”

Via EPR Network
More Biotech press releases

Innovative Drug Discovery Business, Biosortia Pharmaceuticals, Lands Two Health Care Veterans

Kurt Dieck formerly SVP of Strategy and Business Execution at Cardinal Health, will lead early stage drug discovery business at Biosortia Pharmaceuticals. Dieck was named President and CEO in November 2012 and has quickly identified other key executives, including Dr. Guy Carter, former Natural Product head at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, as his Chief Science Officer. In conjunction, other collaboration partners have joined the team, including NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), NCI (National Cancer Institute) and key universities, to strategically accelerate the development of novel drug leads in the therapeutic areas of cancer, infectious diseases, inflammation and neurological disorders. Biosortia Pharmaceuticals has seen promising early results with dozens of novel compounds having already been requested, and are under evaluation with NCI and Eli Lilly.

Dieck has spent nearly 30 years in healthcare, including 18 years at Arthur Andersen as a global equity partner and then 10 years with Cardinal Health, a Fortune 20 public company, as a senior executive; there he worked with a broad spectrum of partners, including brand pharmaceutical manufacturers, throughout the supply chain. Dr. Guy Carter has over 30 years of experience working in pharmaceutical R&D, primarily in the discovery and development of microbial natural products. He previously was the leader of natural products drug discovery at Wyeth Research, as head of the Chemical Technologies Department.

“Kurt and Guy make a great team. Their complementary Pharma experiences and backgrounds create great opportunities to accelerate Biosortia’s objective to become the premier, aquatic natural products company with a primary focus in drug discovery,” says Ross Youngs, Biosortia’s Founder and Chairman. “Kurt and Guy bring a wealth of research and business experience along with deep industry relationships in building successful Pharma partnerships. Everyone involved with this young biotech is excited about the future.”

Industry observers have commented that late-stage R&D pipelines are not providing Pharma with the desired revenue growth the market is expecting. Therefore, large Pharma is evolving the way it performs R&D in order to optimize efficiency and to boost patent cliff defenses. These changes require shifting from relying solely on in-house chemistry-based R&D to acquiring and licensing external technologies and natural products based compounds in various stages of development. Biosortia’s ability to supply novel, highly active and potent compounds with drug-like characteristics will increase the productivity and success rate for Pharma as well as reduce the overall cost of the discovery process. The cost to discover, develop and launch a new drug is estimated to reach nearly $3B per drug by 2015. Biosortia’s business model is designed specifically to support Pharma’s needs.

“With nearly unlimited microorganisms (3.7 nonillion), the aquatic environment and its consortia represent an extraordinary opportunity…a new frontier, to access extremely potent and chemically diverse secondary metabolites with drug-like properties with unique mechanisms of action never researched before,” said Dieck. In describing the opportunity, Dieck goes on to say, “Biosortia is on the cutting edge of natural product discovery
and has the capabilities to deliver on its aspiration. Our powerful natural products research team, led by Dr. Guy Carter, in partnership with NOAA’s Dr. Peter Moeller, a leader in aquatic natural products research, has the experience and know-how to decipher the complex unexplored environment in a very efficient manner leveraging all the current state of the art instrumentation. The need for more efficient and effective approaches to drug discovery has never been more important. Biosortia’s innovative technologies, deep research skills and key relationships will efficiently provide thousands of unique natural products as candidates for drug discovery at a time when Pharma is in critical need for “high quality shots on goal.”

“Aquatic microbial consortia are a rich source of metabolically active organisms including microalgae, bacteria, fungi and their secondary metabolites,” states Carter. “Owing to the competitive nature of their habitat, chemical investigations of microbial consortia reveal unique structurally diversified natural products that are responsible for signaling and self-defense that have potential as therapeutics with novel mechanisms of action. Since they have been pre-optimized by nature, these compounds are typically closer to a drug candidate than a synthetic lead, thus requiring less optimization and shorter time when found as ‘hits’ in screening programs.”

The team has also focused on agreements with strategic collaboration partners as vital components to the strategy. Biosortia has recently entered into several collaboration agreements with NOAA, Analyticon and exclusive harvesting relationships, just to name a few. Several others will be advanced by the end of January. Biosortia’s cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with NOAA’s Center for Human Health Risk at Hollings Marine Laboratory provides a 5-year framework for research and development regarding the analysis and purification of novel bioactive compounds. According to NOAA’s Technology Partnerships Office, “Success will result in the commercial development of new and unique chemical compounds from the sea which have benefits to human health, either through disease prevention or new treatments for disease.”

Dr. Peter Moeller, NOAA’s Research Scientist who leads the Toxins Natural Products Program stated after analyzing fractions of Biosortia’s biomass, “Coupling NOAA’s mission of characterizing toxins affecting environmental and/or human health with Biosortia’s drug discovery focus turns one man’s toxin into another’s chemotherapeutic. The microorganisms analyzed in the Biosortia biomass identified more unique activity than I have seen in my 30 year career. The volumes achieved from a single harvest delivered an equivalent of 30 years of accumulation. This could materially change the landscape for natural products drug discovery research.”

As of December 31, 2012, Biosortia has identified more than 30 bioactive candidate compounds (hits) from a fresh water eutrophic lake consortium. Therapeutic areas of focus include treatments for cancer, infectious diseases, inflammation and neurological disorders. In addition, more than a dozen of its patent protected compounds are in initial evaluation stage within Eli Lilly’s Open Innovation Drug Discovery Program.

Dieck states, “Looking forward, it is with great optimism. We have a great team built around mutual respect, deep experience, and a desire to succeed and make a difference. We are aligning with the right partners and collaborators to execute our strategy with speed and discipline to provide Pharma with much high quality & diverse compounds vs. “me-too” drugs than they have had in the past 10 years. We are excited about what this company can accomplish, not only for its shareholders but also for the millions of people who have been diagnosed with various forms of chronic diseases who are looking for Pharma to identify better ways to help them extend their lives or live a more productive life. Biosortia can play a big role in identifying compounds that can help Pharma achieve these goals. I am looking forward to the challenge and opportunity to build an industry leading drug discovery company.”

Via EPR Network
More Biotech press releases

Advinus, SignalChem Start The Multi-Year, Multi-Target Collaboration On New Anti-Cancer Drugs

Advinus Therapeutics, a research-based pharmaceutical development company promoted by the TATA Group, and SignalChem Pharmaceuticals, a British Columbia-based drug discovery company, have started working on 15 programs based on SignalChem’s proprietary Kinase platform for targeted therapies in oncology. Each program is being developed with corresponding diagnostics and tracers for patient selection and biomarkers for follow up offering the right treatment to the right patient at the right time. The companies have received a very high level of interest from pharma companies to license and collaborate on the programs and therefore see a rapid progression to the clinic.

Dr. Rashmi Barbhaiya, CEO and MD of Advinus said– “This collaboration is an exemplary model of polycentric and globally networked innovation for enhancing probability of success, reducing timelines, and focusing on cost-effective partnerships to bring innovative medicines to the market. This collaboration would also leverage leading edge biomedical research of British Columbia research institutions and Advinus’s capabilities and infrastructure to translate biomedical research discoveries into potential life saving drugs.”

Dr. Jasbinder Sanghera, CEO of SignalChem said – “This is a path-breaking partnership that leverages SignalChem’s extensive biology and kinase expertise and Advinus’s end-to-end capabilities of medicinal chemistry, lead optimization, preclinical development and early-clinical development capabilities to rapidly and efficiently advance new anti-cancer drug candidates into human clinical trials.”

The collaboration was announced by B.C. Premier Christy Clark during her visit to India who said – “This is what our Jobs Trade Mission is all about – helping local companies make connections that will allow them to do business in India. We have an innovative technology and life sciences sector in B.C., which has a lot to offer India to support its economic growth. The partnership between Advinus and SignalChem will benefit people around the world.”

Via EPR Network
More Biotech press releases

MicroTissues, Inc.’s 3D Petri Dish™ Is Helping to Reduce Animal Use in Research

MicroTissues, Inc. announced today that its 3D Petri Dish™ is targeted towards helping to reduce the numbers of animals used in research. The 3D Petri Dish™ is a new tool for the world wide industry of life sciences research and drug discovery that grows living cells in three dimensions (3D). These 3D microtissues replicate the function of natural tissues and organs better than conventional 2D methods and are increasingly being used in toxicity testing of new drugs and cosmetics.

“Worldwide, efforts are underway to reduce the use of animals in research and we’re excited to be offering a new technology for toxicity testing” said Brian Morgan, Marketing Manager of MicroTissues, Inc. “The 3D Petri Dish™ is a reliable 3D cell culture technology that accurately produces natural cell-to-cell interactions and is easy to use. And, it forms 3D microtissues from human cells, so toxicity testing data is more relevant.”

Effective 2009, the European Union banned the use of animal testing for cosmetic products and many believe the trend to reduce the use of animals in research will continue worldwide. MicroTissues, Inc. is helping to address this issue by offering eight products that are precision micro-molds used to cast 3D Petri Dishes™ that fit in standard multi-well plates. The 3D Petri Dish™ forms hundreds of multi-cellular 3D spheroids from cells useful for toxicity testing including hepatospheres, cardiospheres, mammospheres, neurospheres, and embryoid bodies. The 3D Petri Dish™ technology also forms microtissues with complex shapes having geometries that mimic natural organs. Over thirty different cell types, including primary human cells, have been shown to form 3D microtissues in the 3D Petri Dish™.

MicroTissues, Inc. a privately held company with an exclusive worldwide license to US and international patent applications on the 3D Petri Dish™, is advancing technologies and applications of 3D cell culture. The company’s products stand above the rest because they are designed to create more natural and more reliable 3D cell culture environments based on cell-to-cell interactions in convenient and consistent formats that generate high content information. The company’s lead line of products, the 3D Petri Dish™, is serving the needs of researchers in a wide range of areas including cancer research, stem cell biology, toxicity testing, developmental biology, drug discovery, regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. In addition to products for basic research, MicroTissues, Inc. is using its platform technology to pursue applications in drug discovery and cell therapy. For more information, please visit www.microtissues.com.

Via EPR Network
More Biotech press releases

Drug Discovery On Demand By Molplex

An innovative new online “drug discovery on demand” platform has been launched by Molplex, a company specializing in products and services for the life sciences. Designed to help drug discovery groups working anywhere in the world, it aimsto eliminate the high start-up costs and minimize the financial risks traditionally associated with inventing new medicines.

Molplex CEO David Leahy said: “As the pharmaceutical industry changes, a new ecosystem of small, flexible teams operating as “Micro Pharmas” is emerging. Molplex will provide the services they need to succeed at inventing better medicines at lower cost”.

The first version of the new Molplex system launched today offers free access to sophisticated drug design systems, high quality assay-ready stock chemicals and high content biological screening at www.molplex.com.

Via EPR Network
More Biotech press releases

New Transplant Therapy, Shift in Drug Discovery

On August 23-25, 2010, industry scientists, CEOs, and academics will convene at Philadelphia’s Four Seasons Hotel for the “Ubiquitin Drug Discovery and Diagnostics Conference” to discuss the Next Big Thing in drug discovery research—the ubiquitin pathway. Advances in oncology, infectious diseases, neurodegeneration, inflammation, diabetes, and muscle wasting will be covered.

New Transplant Therapy, Shift in Drug Discovery

A pathway is a sequence of reactions converting one molecule into another. Ubiquitin, which is a small protein, is used often to mark larger proteins within a cell for breakdown. This pathway plays fundamental roles in human health and disease; many human pathologies have been linked to changes in ubiquitin pathway enzymes. Attracting experts in this growing field, the three-day conference is unique in its focus on drug discovery within the ubiquitin pathway.

Rejection hurts; but for the recipient of organ donation, rejection can be fatal. New combination therapies for treating antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) in transplant patients are possible, thanks in part to manipulation of the ubiquitin pathway.

When a transplant recipient’s body rejects donor tissue, the recipient’s plasma cells, which typically fight off infection, are in fact the aggressors in the attack. Dr. Woodle suggests stalling the proteasome (or “cellular waste-bin”) via the ubiquitin pathway (or “cellular tagging and shipping information hub”) thereby depleting plasma cells and treating rejection. Dr. Woodle will present his latest findings during the final conference session.

Via EPR Network
More Biotech press releases