Atheris Laboratories, specializing in venom-based drug discovery and lead optimization, and Debiopharm Group, a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical company developing drugs and companion diagnostics targeting unmet medical needs including oncology, has signed a collaboration for the Atheris "Reverse-Discovery" lead optimization platform.
Collaboration with Atheris is expected to accelerate Debiopharm's ongoing lead optimization program in project Debio 0826, aimed at developing a peptide drug against an innovative oncology target through a "Venomics" approach, using Debiopharm's experience in the discovery, development and formulation of peptides.
Venoms represent a well-established resource of bioactive compounds that have already led to seven marketed drugs. This collaboration aims to improve drugability features (increasing efficacy, potency, selectivity and stability, while reducing possibly unwanted side effects such as toxicity) of one promising lead candidate peptide identified in animal venom by Atheris, Debiopharm and the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Lead optimization will be carried out using Atheris' proprietary "Reverse-Discovery" probabilistic algorithms. Candidates will be identified and produced using a multiplex synthetic venom platform developed by Atheris in partnership with the teams of professor Oliver Hartley at the University of Geneva and Dr. Frédérique Lisacek from the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics with financial support from the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI).