Axxam, an innovative Partner Research Organization (iPRO) based in Italy, announced the start of a research collaboration with Sanofi designed to further optimize a number of lead series of small molecules targeted against a range of diseases of the central nervous system (CNS).
The program, initiated at Axxam via a High Throughput Screen (HTS) of the Axxam small molecule screening library, yielded a number of tractable hit series. Subsequent multi-parameter optimization identified potent and selective molecules with high CNS exposures and showed promising results in disease-relevant pharmacology models.
Following an initial evaluation phase in-house, Sanofi and Axxam will continue the program under a joint research agreement with activities to be carried out at Axxam and Sanofi research facilities. If successful, Sanofi has an option to enter into a subsequent licensing agreement based on the research. The exact pharmacological target and financial terms of this agreement with Sanofi were not disclosed.
Axxam is engaged in a range of collaborative research initiatives with leading biotechnology, pharmaceutical and translational research laboratories with a focus on identifying molecules with the potential to treat a wide range of central nervous system disorders. This collaboration further validates the strength of Axxam’s platform to generate high quality leads for small molecule drug discovery.
The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation provided partial funding of Axxam’s prior work on this program.
Dr. Russell Thomas, Director of Discovery Research at Axxam said, “We are excited to open this latest chapter of our interactions with Sanofi. During the initial evaluation of our compounds in their laboratories, we were impressed by the deep understanding of the target and its potential in addressing a broad range of neurodegenerative disorders with significant unmet medical needs. In addition, we have been extremely pleased by the collaborative spirit at Sanofi and look forward to working together to advance this initiative. We are confident that this collaboration offers both companies a unique opportunity to share knowledge, assets, and results and to accelerate compounds into the clinic.”