PhoreMost Limited, the UK-based biopharmaceutical company dedicated to drugging ‘undruggable’ disease targets, and C4X Discovery Holdings plc (AIM: C4XD), a pioneering drug discovery company, today announced they have signed a neurodegeneration drug discovery collaboration agreement. Combining the two companies’ technology platforms to validate novel targets, the initial focus will be on Parkinson’s disease.
Under the terms of the agreement, PhoreMost’s next-generation phenotypic screening platform, SITESEEKER®, will be used to guide selection of novel targets identified by C4XD’s proprietary target identification platform, Taxonomy3®, and provide chemical starting points to launch drug discovery programmes. The aim of the collaboration is to bolster the C4XD drug discovery pipeline of novel neurodegeneration drug targets. Initially SITESEEKER will enable the progression of several Parkinson’s disease targets to multi-target disease area partnering arrangements, or in-house C4XD drug discovery programmes.
C4XD’s Taxonomy3® is a novel in silico platform technology which utilises human genetic datasets to identify novel patient-specific targets with the aim of leading to greater probability of clinical success. PhoreMost’s SITESEEKER is based on the Company’s proprietary protein interference, or ‘PROTEINi’, technology. SITESEEKER probes the entire proteome in a live cell environment for novel druggable targets linked to any chosen disease, using the massive 3-D shape diversity of natural protein fragment (sub-domain) libraries. This enables the systematic unmasking of cryptic druggable sites and directly links them to useful therapeutic functions.
C4XD’s proprietary drug discovery Conformetrix technology, which allows the dynamic 3D shapes of free drug molecules to be precisely measured from experimental data, will be used to exploit the rich information produced by SITESEEKER to produce commercially attractive small molecule drugs. The complementary nature of these technology platforms provides the potential to extend the collaboration to additional indications in the future.
Dr Chris Torrance CEO of PhoreMost, said:
Neurodegeneration is a therapeutic area that has a pressing need for new and better targets. The opportunity to incorporate genetic insights gained from C4XD’s Taxonomy3® data alongside our SITESEEKER screening platform has great potential to reveal highly relevant novel drug targets. We are tremendously excited by the complementarity of our technologies. C4XD’s Conformetrix approach is ideally suited to use the 3D biological shape information derived from SITESEEKER and convert this into small molecules starting points that will lead to the next generation of therapeutics.
Dr Clive Dix, Chief Executive Officer of C4XD, said:
As part of our strategy to become the world’s most productive drug discovery company, we continually assess cutting-edge technologies that add to our current capabilities in target identification and drug design. PhoreMost’s SITESEEKER is one such technology that has the potential to both validate targets and provide chemistry starting points for our molecular design platforms. This partnership complements C4XD’s existing target validation collaborations and enables us to accelerate our portfolio growth whilst decreasing timelines in drug discovery.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disease with more than an estimated 10 million people worldwide living with the disease. The total cost of Parkinson’s disease in the US is c.$52 billion per year, more than double previous estimates.
While the terms of the agreement are not disclosed, it is expected that both companies would share any revenues on validated targets produced by the collaboration.