Regen BioPharma has entered into a definitive agreement with Eli Lilly which allows Regen to receive compounds from Lilly for drug discovery purposes and allows Regen to share structural information on compounds of mutual interest.
The agreement also grants to Lilly an option to negotiate an agreement with Regen including but not restricted to a compound purchase agreement, a license agreement or a research collaboration agreement for further research and development of material of mutual interest.
"Lilly's Open Innovation Drug Discovery Program is visionary," said Harry Lander, Ph.D., MBA, president and chief scientific officer of Regen BioPharma. "They understand the value of partnering in a confidential manner with smaller entities that may have intellectual property that aligns with their product goals."
Regen will examine 21,000 Lilly-owned compounds in its NR2F6 high-throughput screening program as it attempts to identify activators and inhibitors of this protein. Regen will share the experimental data with Lilly and the two companies will jointly decide on next steps.
NR2F6 is a molecular switch known as an "orphan nuclear receptor," which controls genes associated with the immune response as well as genes associated with the ability of cancer stem cells to propagate. Regen has filed numerous patents covering means of manipulating NR2F6 in oncology and immunology. Issued US Patent # 9091696 was granted to Regen and covers means of screening small molecules such as is being done in this program. Cancer, as well as autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome, is likely to be controlled by modifying NR2F6 activity.
Regen is currently in the process of screening more than 70,000 compounds in an effort to identify activators and inhibitors of NR2F6. Two activators have been identified and preliminary work on inhibitors is currently underway.