X-Chem Announces Collaboration with Janssen and Johnson & Johnson Innovation to Advance Novel Candidates to Treat Inflammatory Diseases
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- Published on Sunday, 11 January 2015 12:28
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X-Chem to Identify Small Molecule Leads Using its Proprietary Discovery Engine Fueled by a DNA-Encoded Library Exceeding 100 Billion Compounds
WALTHAM, MA, USA I January 9, 2015 I X-Chem, Inc. (“X-Chem”), a privately held biotechnology company applying its cutting-edge drug discovery platform to the generation of novel small molecule therapeutics, today announced a multi-target collaboration with Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen), one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. The collaboration, which is being facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Boston, focuses on the discovery and development of candidate molecules for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.
Under the terms of the agreement, X-Chem will apply its proprietary discovery engine, powered by a unique high diversity DNA-encoded small molecule library, to identify novel compounds targeting proteins involved in the inflammatory response. Janssen has an exclusive option to license the drug candidates generated in the course of the collaboration. X-Chem will receive an upfront payment, research funding and is eligible for milestone payments upon achievement of specified research, development and commercial milestones. In addition, X-Chem will receive royalty payments on the sale of products resulting from the collaboration.
“X-Chem’s vision is to leverage our powerful lead discovery engine to enable breakthroughs in disease areas with high unmet medical need,” said Rick Wagner, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of X-Chem. “As we continue to improve our platform’s performance, we seek to combine our discovery excellence with the extensive development and commercialization expertise of collaborators such as Janssen, and to help prime their pipeline with innovative products for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.”
About the X-Chem Drug Discovery Platform
Due to the size and diversity of the library, X-Chem can discover multiple series of novel, potent and selective lead compounds at an unprecedented 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 exceptional performance of the platform. In particular, X-Chem’s approach to library construction allows for additional chemical reactions to become useable in DNA-encoded library synthesis. Together, these developments 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.
The X-Chem drug discovery engine is based on a library generated by iterative combinatorial synthesis of small molecules tethered to DNA tags that record the synthetic history of the small molecule. Every small molecule in the library has a unique DNA barcode attached it. The library is screened as a mixture using affinity-based binding to a target of interest. Certain rare molecules in the library that bind to the target can be “fished out,” while the rest of the molecules wash away. DNA sequencing methods are then used to detect molecules that are enriched when bound to the target. The diverse nature of the library produces multiple families or clusters of related molecules that bind to the target, forming a basis for emergent structure-activity relationships. Structure-activity relationships are typically used by medicinal chemists to guide iterative chemical maturation of a molecule into a drug. Based on the synthetic history encoded in the DNA sequence information, molecules are then made without the DNA tag attached, and tested for activity in conventional assays.
X-Chem, Inc. is a biotechnology company based in Waltham, MA. The company’s mission is to apply its powerful product engine to the discovery of small molecule compounds against high-value therapeutic targets. X-Chem has established partnerships with Roche, AstraZeneca and several other leading pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology organizations, and academic centers.
In September 2014, Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC (PPD) acquired all interests in X-Chem, Inc., while retaining the company's management team and biotechnology business model. For further information on X-Chem, please visit: http://www.x-chemrx.com.
PPD is a leading global contract research organization providing drug discovery, development, lifecycle management and laboratory services. Our clients and partners include pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, academic and government organizations. With offices in 46 countries and more than 13,000 professionals worldwide, PPD applies innovative technologies, therapeutic expertise and a commitment to quality to help clients and partners accelerate the delivery of safe and effective therapeutics and maximize the returns on their R&D investments. For more information, visit www.ppdi.com.