Toronto, ON and Vancouver, BC (February 9, 2017) – The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), located in Vancouver BC, and Cyclica Inc., a Canadian company located in Toronto, ON, have engaged in a pilot study using Cyclica’s Ligand Express™ drug discovery informatics platform. CDRD’s Screening team led by Dr. Tom Pfeifer, will use Cyclica’s structure-based, proteome-wide screening technology, Ligand Express™, to identify novel drug targets for a degenerative neurological disease with unmet clinical need.
This initial pilot project leverages CDRD’s expertise in target validation for new compounds, and demonstrates CDRD’s ongoing engagement with early-stage companies in the Canadian marketplace. This project also signifies continued innovation through a multi-disciplinary collaboration across the biotechnology and R&D sectors in Canada. “We are very excited to work with Cyclica and use their Ligand Express platform to identify new therapeutic targets for further development of novel neurodegenerative medicines. We believe their unique approach to computational drug discovery will make it easier for scientists to identify and validate drug targets going forward,” said Dr. Pfeifer.
Cyclica’s patented Ligand Express™ platform determines the polypharmacology of drugs in development, and evaluates opportunities for therapeutic efficacy as well as flags potential toxicological properties prior to clinical studies. This first-in-class, disease-agnostic technology facilitates drug development by identifying drugs and target proteins that could elicit therapeutic effects, as well as mitigates risk for novel pre-clinical-stage compounds. By applying the current wealth of protein structure knowledge, using novel structure-based drug discovery methods coupled with machine learning algorithms, Cyclica is leading the charge to digitize drug development pipelines in order to save time and money, as well as generate better medicines sooner for those that need it the most.
“CDRD is a world-class institution, and we are pleased and equally excited to support Dr. Pfeifer’s cutting-edge drug development initiatives. Our goal in this pilot study is to deliver highly actionable outcomes that directly lead to novel medicines for patients in need. This initiative is integral in ensuring that we achieve our goal of getting the technology in the hands of every scientist, so that together we can affect broad change in the marketplace,” said Naheed Kurji, President and CEO of Cyclica.
The results of the project will validate a protein target and could lead to further drug development in the near future.
About The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD):
CDRD is Canada’s national drug development and commercialization centre working in partnership with academia, industry, government and foundations. CDRD provides the specialized expertise and infrastructure to identify, validate and advance promising discoveries, and transform them into commercially viable investment opportunities for the private sector — and ultimately into new therapies for patients. Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence Program has recognized CDRD as a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR). www.cdrd.ca
Cyclica Inc. has developed, validated, and patented a structure-based proteome-wide screening platform, Ligand Express™, that currently features PROBEx (proteome-screening), SWITCHx (ligand effect prediction) and DIVEx (systems biology & drug-protein interactomes). Ligand Express™ is unique in that it is a drug-centric platform. For a small molecule ligand, Ligand Express™ automatically generates an intelligent list of ligand-protein interactions by searching through a large proprietary database of all available structurally characterized proteins. The platform provides a panoramic view of a small molecule ligand to better understand on- and off-target interactions, and is valuable in finding novel desirable or undesirable targets. By gaining insights into a ligand’s polypharmacology, Cyclica’s clients can identify unknown targets, prioritize lead candidates, elucidate adverse effects, and understand repurposing opportunities.
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