Sygnature Discovery, a provider of integrated drug discovery services, has been selected by CellCentric, a biotechnology company with a scientific foundation in epigenetics, to progress small molecule inhibitor drug discovery against a specific deubiquitinase (DUB) enzyme which has been demonstrated to play a key role in the progression of prostate cancer.
CellCentric recently received $6.7 million through further venture investment and an award from the U.K. government-backed Technology Strategy Board’s BioMedical Catalyst Fund to further fuel the DUB program through to small molecule clinical candidates. The new agents act upon the androgen receptor (AR) pathway, which is gaining interest from the pharmaceutical industry. CellCentric’s approach has the potential to modulate AR and AR splice variants, which could be key to overcoming many of the drug resistance mechanisms that limit the clinical benefit of existing approved and developmental therapeutic agents.
Dr. Simon Hirst, chief executive officer, Sygnature Discovery, said, “Epigenetics is a rapidly evolving field and this is an opportunity for us to work on an unexplored and challenging drug target. Sygnature has considerable in-house oncology drug discovery knowledge and having medicinal chemistry, computational chemistry and in vitro screening under one roof will enable us to accelerate CellCentric’s prostate cancer program toward the clinic.”