ArQule, a Woburn, Mass.-based biotechnology company, and Beryllium Discovery, a company using target-centric platforms to provide research services and collaborations to commercial and academic partners, have formed a collaborative R&D agreement to identify and unlock the therapeutic potential of small molecule compounds by combining ArQule’s chemistry and drug development experience with Beryllium’s discovery platforms. The Beryllium platforms integrate structure-guided drug discovery, biophysics and cell biology.
The therapeutic targets to be pursued by the parties include PD-1 (programmed cell death protein 1) and PDL-1 (programmed death ligand 1), two proteins believed to play major roles in suppressing or limiting the response of the immune system. Molecules that bind to and inhibit the effects of these targets may help direct the immune system to combat a variety of tumors.
“We are excited by the potential synergy in combining complementary technologies and expertise to pursue cost-effective, shared-risk development pathways for the selection of compounds identified from ArQule’s small molecule library or rationally designed through Beryllium’s fragment-based research capabilities and ArQule chemistry technology,” said Brian Schwartz, chief medical officer of ArQule. “We are prioritizing the scope of our collaboration based on the recognition that immuno-oncology represents a promising area of research with potential applications across a number of cancers.”