X-Chem, a privately held biotechnology company applying its discovery capabilities to the generation of novel small molecule therapeutics, has announced a multi-target collaboration with Pfizer. The collaboration is focused on the potential development of several programs for the treatment of inflammatory and orphan diseases.
X-Chem is applying its discovery engine, which leverages a high-diversity, proprietary DNA-encoded small molecule library to seek the identification of novel leads for the Pfizer programs. Pfizer has an exclusive option to license any compounds generated in the course of the collaboration. The financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.
“The use of ultra-large and highly diverse DNA-encoded small molecule libraries has emerged as a novel technology with potential to generate leads for difficult targets of high importance,” said Tony Wood, senior vice president, worldwide medicinal chemistry, Pfizer.
“With the ongoing expansion of X-Chem’s library, informatics capabilities and screening expertise, we continue to identify lead molecules to challenging, high value therapeutic targets,” said Rick Wagner, Ph.D., CEO of X-Chem. “Our vision is to enable breakthroughs in the treatment of diseases with high unmet medical need by partnering our lead discovery engine with leaders in the pharmaceutical industry such as Pfizer.”
Due to the size and diversity of the library, X-Chem has the potential to discover multiple series of novel, potent and selective lead compounds at an accelerated rate of success against a wide range of targets, including some that previously failed using conventional screening methods. A number of proprietary innovations in library design, screening methodology and bioinformatics underlie the strong performance of the platform. A key advancement was a library synthesis process that enables addition of the DNA tag using chemical methods.
X-Chem’s approach to library design allows for additional chemical reactions to become useable in DNA-encoded library synthesis. Together, these developments have the potential to result in a much greater repertoire of diversity for small molecules, which cover a range of categories, including fragment molecules, small molecular weight heterocyclic compounds and macrocyclic structures. This diverse library, combined with a heightened ability to detect active molecules, has yielded a robust process that has been highly successful against targets categorized as difficult or intractable.