DUNDEE, Scotland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ubiquigent Limited announced today that it has entered into a multi-year strategic R&D collaboration agreement with FORMA Therapeutics for the design and development of novel deubiquitylase (DUB) enzyme inhibitors. Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, Ubiquigent will receive an upfront payment with research support and is eligible for possible additional milestones payments.
The collaboration builds on an existing long term relationship between the parties whereby FORMA has accessed Ubiquigent’s DUBprofiler™ platform for the screening of test compounds. This expanded partnership agreement brings together the strengths of both parties and leverages Ubiquigent’s chemistry and biology platforms to design novel DUB inhibitors.
Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, Ubiquigent will design novel DUB inhibitors and evaluate them using its biology platform. During this term, FORMA will have exclusive access and option for WW license to all compounds and associated data from Ubiquigent libraries generated under the alliance. Furthermore, Ubiquigent will work exclusively for the benefit of FORMA on a specific defined number of DUB targets.
Ubiquigent is a world-leading provider of biological and chemistry based assay services and expertise in the emerging space of ubiquitin-system drug discovery. Historically, one of the main rate limiting factors has been the availability of small molecules to support early drug development. This agreement with FORMA validates Ubiquigent’s strategy of developing highly-targeted, small molecule libraries focused on unlocking the potential of DUB enzymes for the development of novel therapeutics.
In parallel with this latest collaboration, Ubiquigent will continue to provide access to its ubiquitin system focused capabilities to the wider scientific community including its Research Tools, Drug Discovery Services and non-exclusive compound libraries. It will also continue to explore other opportunities for more strategic collaborations in the ubiquitin field.
Ubiquigent’s Commercial Director, Mr. Jason Mundin commented: “We are extremely pleased to enter into our first collaboration agreement of this type. This agreement represents not only the next step in our relationship with FORMA, but also validates our approach of combining targeted chemistry with a focused biology platform. We look forward to working more closely with our colleagues at FORMA in this exciting field.”
“DUBs are an increasingly important family of drug targets for many therapeutic directions,” stated Chris Dinsmore, Ph.D., Vice President and Head of Chemistry, FORMA Therapeutics. “Combining Ubiquigent’s drug design talents and proven capabilities with FORMA’s repertoire of DUB-targeting chemotypes, across various structurally and computationally elucidated binding modes, is an exciting discovery opportunity. With novel compounds and mechanism of action insights from this collaboration, we hope to accelerate our ongoing efforts to deliver differentiated medicines to patients in need.”
About Ubiquigent (www.ubiquigent.com)
Ubiquigent Limited is a specialist developer and supplier of Drug Discovery Services, high quality Research Tools and Chemistry to the life science research community worldwide. Ubiquigent’s scientific and business interests have a clear focus on the ubiquitin signalling system. The company has established its scientific and business credentials with both academic researchers undertaking fundamental scientific discovery and pharmaceutical and biotechnology company scientists exploring the potential of ubiquitin cascade-focused drug discovery.
Ubiquigent benefits from high calibre backing including from IP Group plc, US investors, the UK Medical Research Council, and the University of Dundee. The company’s headquarters and laboratory operations are based in the, UK and are located in a state-of-the-art facility adjacent to the MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit at the University of Dundee (both founded by Professor Sir Philip Cohen). In addition to Ubiquigent’s own facilities and capabilities, such proximity provides ready access to a huge range of additional scientific expertise (1,000+ life-science researchers on site), technological competencies, and assay and analytical platforms.
About FORMA Therapeutics (www.formatherapeutics.com)
FORMA Therapeutics' scientists are passionate about discovering and developing medicines that will make a difference in oncology, inflammation & immunity, neurodegeneration, and other serious diseases. The Company’s fully integrated R&D team drives discovery and early clinical development of therapeutics for qualified targets in the areas of epigenetics, protein homeostasis and metabolism. Leveraging a world class network of academic investigators, clinical experts and partners, FORMA combines deep biology insight, chemistry expertise and early clinical development capabilities, to create drug candidates providing profound patient benefit.
FORMA is headquartered in Watertown, MA near the epicenter of the Cambridge Life Sciences cluster, with operations in Watertown, MA and Branford, CT. www.formatherapeutics.com
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About the ubiquitin system
The ubiquitin system offers many new drug discovery target opportunities across multiple therapeutic areas including cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic, neurological and musculoskeletal, and infection and immunity. Involving the modification of proteins through the attachment of the protein ubiquitin, or ubiquitin-like proteins (Ubls), ubiquitylation and related Ubl modifications are key to the control of cellular protein homeostasis as well as signalling, akin to the critical role played by phosphorylation (approximately 30% of commercial drug discovery programmes target phosphorylation enzymes), and holds similar if not greater potential for clinical utility.