Three U.K.-based biotech companies, Isogenica, Biolauncher and Cresset Biomolecular Discovery, have formed a collaborative joint venture, according to the U.K.’s Business Weekly.
The partners 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 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 companies are adapting to the changing pharmaceutical R&D 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.