Domainex collaboration with ICR advances breast cancer drug research

14 April 2010

Domainex Ltd and a research team at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), have discovered new compounds with potential for breast cancer treatment.

Domainex is now set to provide lead optimisation services alongside the work being undertaken at the ICR.

Scientists led by the ICR’s Professor Alan Ashworth of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre, working in close collaboration with Domainex, have discovered drug-like compounds that inhibit an enzyme from the PARP superfamily, whose expression leads to the survival of breast cancer cells.

The programme recently received a £4 million research grant under the Wellcome Trust's Seeding Drug Discovery initiative to finance its implementation.

Domainex will apply its novel LeadBuilder virtual screening technology to design and select chemical compounds suitable for rapid progression. Furthermore, the company will apply its medicinal chemistry expertise to assist the ICR team to develop drug candidates for progression into clinical trials.

Founded in 2002, Domainex specializes in the provision of protein science and medicinal chemistry services to large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies as well as academic research groups. The company is also developing a pipeline of pre-clinical drugs and targets.

Eddy Littler, Chief Executive Officer of Domainex, commented: “We are very pleased to be working with the team at the ICR who have unrivalled expertise in the study and treatment of cancer. The successful prosecution of this project, combined with our other Wellcome Trust funded collaboration with St Georges Hospital Medical School and the University of Manchester, demonstrates the value of Domainex’s core expertise in both computational and medicinal chemistry.

These two projects, together with other work that we are undertaking, illustrate our strong commitment to the support of translational research in academia. The dual combination of the LeadBuilder platform and our medicinal chemistry expertise creates a powerful drug discovery tool.”

Professor Alan Ashworth said: “We are delighted that the research programme is progressing well and look forward to our scientists continuing to work closely with Domainex, utilising its innovative technologies and skilled staff, in combination with our own expertise, for discovery of improved cancer treatments”.

The ICR’s Director of Enterprise Dr Susan Bright added: “Today’s announcement is very encouraging and illustrates why the research programme warranted the £4 million grant awarded by the Wellcome Trust. We shall continue to work closely with our collaborative partners in the implementation of the next phase of the project. Another step forward has been taken in specialist drug discovery geared to enhancing the treatment of cancer”.

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