exscientia Ltd. the polypharmacology driven drug discovery company announced today that they have signed an agreement with Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. to collaborate on the discovery and optimisation of novel medicines for psychiatric disorders.
As part of the new strategic alliance worth $4.8 million (USD) ex scientia received an upfront payment of $1 million (USD). Under the terms of the agreement Sunovion will receive exclusive worldwide rights to the resulting compounds whereas ex scientia retains exclusive rights to its technology.
The collaborative research will focus on developing novel approaches to compound design by analysing data arising from phenotypic drug discovery. Improvements in phenotypic screening are opening new ways to deliver improved medicines. This collaboration between Sunovion and ex scientia combines the power of advanced large-scale phenotypic screening with ex scientia’s technology for the rational design of polypharmacology drugs. The intention of this combined approach is to deliver drug candidates to the clinic. This collaboration builds upon ex scientia’s delivery of novel ‘bispecific’ compounds that combine activities at the GPCR and ion channel target families.
Dr. Thomas Large Senior Vice President of Discovery and Preclinical Research at Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. said “We are extremely pleased to form a strategic alliance with ex scientia to create an innovative approach to tackling complex psychiatric diseases by integrating polypharmacology with behavioural insights from phenotypic data. This partnership underscores Sunovion’s commitment to developing a robust pipeline to treat unmet medical needs in patients.”
Prof. Andrew Hopkins Founder and CEO of exscientia Ltd. said: “We are delighted to collaborate with Sunovion on this exciting approach to discovering new treatments for complex psychiatric diseases. This partnership establishes our design platform as a method of choice for data-driven phenotypic drug discovery. The agreement shows the power of applying a polypharmacology philosophy to challenging disease areas and our commitment to building strategic partnerships with major pharmaceutical companies to deliver novel medicines.”
About ex scientia Ltd.
exscientia is a privately owned company developing new medicines for a wide range of human diseases where improved efficacy is required. exscientia is the first company to develop a systematic algorithmic discovery platform to design molecules to a tailored polypharmacology or ‘bispecific’ target profile. Adopting this strategy increases the efficiency and effectiveness of drug discovery. ex scientia’s algorithmic design platform allows the designing-in of targets to increase efficacy and the designing-out of ‘anti-targets’ that typically introduce the risk of side effects and toxicity. ex scientia has successfully applied the same principles developed for bispecifics and tailored polypharmacology to complex high-dimensional phenotypic drug design. As an industry pioneer in polypharmacology drug discovery exscientia aims to create exceptional value for its partners by delivering effective treatments to the clinic.
About Phenotypic Drug Discovery
Historically many first-in-class drugs with novel mechanisms of action were discovered through phenotypic drug discovery (PDD). PDD is the process of screening compounds for their phenotypic modulation of a biological pathway irrespective of the targets involved. Phenotypic screening is re-emerging as a powerful methodology to discover new medicines beyond the standard single target hypothesis.
About Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Sunovion)
Sunovion is a leading pharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering developing and commercializing therapeutic products that advance the science of medicine in the Psychiatry Neurology and Respiratory disease areas. Sunovion’s drug development program together with its corporate development and licensing efforts has yielded a portfolio of pharmaceutical products including Aptiom® (eslicarbazepine acetate) Latuda® (lurasidone HCl) tablets Lunesta® (eszopiclone) tablets Xopenex HFA® (levalbuterol tartrate) inhalation aerosol Brovana® (arformoterol tartrate) inhalation solution Omnaris® (ciclesonide) nasal spray Zetonna® (ciclesonide) nasal aerosol and Alvesco® (ciclesonide) inhalation aerosol.
Sunovion an indirect wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma. Ltd. is headquartered in Marlborough Mass. More information about Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. is available at www.sunovion.com.
About Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co. Ltd.
Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma is a top-ten listed pharmaceutical company in Japan. Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma aims to produce and develop innovative pharmaceutical products in the Psychiatry & Neurology area and the Oncology area which have been designated as the focus therapeutic areas. Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma is based on the merger in 2005 between Dainippon Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. Today Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma has more than 7000 employees worldwide. Additional information about Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma is available through its corporate website at www.ds-pharma.com.
LATUDAis a registered trademark of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co. Ltd. LUNESTA XOPENEX XOPENEX HFA and BROVANA are registered trademarks of Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. OMNARIS and ALVESCO are registered trademarks of Takeda GmbH used under license.