Bridge Medicines Enters Agreement with Weill Cornell Medicine to Develop a Novel Sphingosine 1-Phosphate (S1P) Receptor Modulator

Project Originated at Weill Cornell Medicine and Advanced by the Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute

NEW YORK, NY, USA I March 11, 2019 I Bridge Medicines announced today an agreement with Weill Cornell Medicine to develop a novel sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulator.  This small molecule program originated in the laboratory of Timothy Hla, Ph.D. formerly of Weill Cornell Medicine, now Boston Children's Hospital, and was successfully advanced by the Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute (Tri-I TDI). The Tri-I TDI was formed in 2013 with support from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited and enables early-stage drug discovery work in a collaborative academic setting.  The recently completed S1P receptor modulator program from Hla's laboratory is one of approximately 50 programs within the Tri-I TDI pipeline.

S1P is a bioactive lipid that regulates many physiological and pathophysiological processes, including autoimmune diseases, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and cancer. S1P transmits its signal by interacting with one or more of five cell surface receptors. The Hla team has focused specifically on receptor subtype 2, and the ability of receptor antagonists to prevent vascular leak and fibrosis in organs such as the brain, liver, and lungs.  Protection of these vital organs via an effective, orally active receptor antagonist may offer the ability to treat a variety of diseases that will be explored under the Bridge Medicines agreement.

The lead chemical series was identified by the Hla Lab. This series was developed and expanded at Tri-I TDI, resulting in an advanced lead compound that is efficacious in preclinical proof-of-concept studies.  Bridge Medicines has acquired rights to the full portfolio of molecules.  Bridge Medicines will complete lead optimization and commence preclinical development, with the goal of entering clinical trials for one or more of the target indications.

"I'm enthusiastic about the opportunity to collaborate with Bridge Medicines on this project," said Dr. Hla.  "The S1P field has proven to be a successful area for new pharmaceutical products.  This program focuses for the first time on the specific S1PR2 target.  I believe this novel sub-target should extend the clinical success of S1P interventions to new disease targets that previously were not treatable."

"I am excited that Bridge Medicines has the opportunity to work closely with Dr. Hla and the team at Weill Cornell Medicine on this groundbreaking science.  This S1P receptor modulator will allow us to pursue several indications to meet the needs of patients," said Dr. Louis Renzetti, CSO of Bridge Medicines.

"Bridge Medicines is thrilled to have an opportunity to develop this innovative class of molecules that emerged as a result of the Tri-I TDI discovery effort," stated Dr. William Polvino, CEO of Bridge Medicines.  "The S1PR2 program is precisely in line with the Bridge mission of transitioning innovative research discoveries from the premier academic Tri-I campus into breakthrough new drugs that target unmet needs among our patients.  The Hla program offers a diverse array of such potential unmet disease targets."

Formed in 2016, Bridge Medicines leverages financial and technical resources to enable further drug development work, including human clinical trials. Each project enters with a fully articulated development program prepared by Bridge Medicines and approved by the Bridge Medicines Scientific Advisory Board, the originating institution, and the primary investigator. Bridge Medicines financially and operationally supports the projects as they generate the data needed to prepare an Investigational New Drug application; programs that enter Bridge Medicines are expected to yield an IND-ready drug candidate ready for subsequent clinical trials.

About Bridge Medicines
Bridge Medicines is a pioneering drug-discovery company focused on advancing promising early technologies in major academic institutions from proof-of-concept to clinical development. Launched by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Rockefeller University, Weill Cornell Medicine and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, in partnership with Deerfield Management and Bay City Capital, Bridge Medicines is a groundbreaking initiative that provides an unbroken, fully funded and professionally staffed path from discovery to drug candidate.

About Tri-I TDI
Tri-I TDI connects researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Rockefeller University and Weill Cornell Medicine, with collaborators from across the globe to remove barriers that impede drug discovery in academic settings. Tri-I TDI empowers the Tri-I community to advance their groundbreaking biological discoveries through preclinical studies by providing industrial-scale technical support for academic projects, making it possible to rapidly assess the utility of specific therapeutic targets in disease-relevant contexts.  Working in close collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, Tri-I TDI accelerates the discovery of next generation drugs.  For more information about Tri-I TDL please visit www.tritdi.org or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information, please visit www.bridgemedicines.com.

SOURCE: Bridge Medicines

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