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Debiopharm Group, Yale extend collaboration for MIF inhibitors

Monday, May 12, 2014

Debiopharm Group, a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical company developing prescription drugs that target unmet medical needs as well as companion diagnostics, has signed a new license and research agreement with Yale University for the discovery of MIF inhibitors for treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

This joint effort will enable the discovery and development of potential oral first-in-class compounds that inhibit Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF), a key regulatory cytokine that has been linked genetically to the pathogenesis of several autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

Yale researchers Richard Bucala, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine, epidemiology and pathology, and William L. Jorgensen, Ph.D., sterling professor of chemistry and director of the Division of Physical Sciences and Engineering, are leading the Yale scientific team designing small molecule antagonists to block inflammation in patients.

“Debiopharm’s reputation for early stage drug development is well known, and this is an exciting new therapeutic approach that may ultimately allow us to tailor treatment to a patient’s immunogenetic profile,” said Bucala.

“The project is progressing well with great synergies between computer-aided molecular design, synthetic chemistry, crystallography and biology,” said Jorgensen.

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