TORONTO, ON, CANADA (January 8, 2018) – Cyclica Inc (www.cyclicarx.com) and Translatum Medicus Inc (TMi, www.translatummedicus.com), both resident companies at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS @ Toronto, located in the MaRS Centre, Toronto, Canada, are pleased to announce a partnership to advance the discovery of small molecule treatments for blinding eye disease, first focusing on “dry” age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
TMi is a pre-clinical drug development company focused on macrophage modulation with lead drug candidate, TMi-018, that is dose-dependently efficacious in pre-clinical studies, both preventing the formation and expansion of “geographic atrophy”-like change, the late blinding complication of dry AMD. TMi will leverage Cyclica’s cloud-based platform, Ligand Express™ to optimize the physicochemical characteristics of TMi-018 and related compounds, and to prioritize their pipeline for expanded indications. Ligand Express™ combines an innovative structure-based proteome-wide screening technology with artificial intelligence to uncover and explain the effects of small molecule therapeutics. The platform screens candidate drugs against all structurally-characterized proteins to identify molecular interactions that provide information about “on-” and “off-target” binding events. Accordingly, Cyclica is able to provide critical insights into the mechanism-of-action of small molecules. Terms of the deal are not disclosed, but in addition to receiving cash payment, Cyclica is taking a minority equity stake in TMi.
Dr. Shelley Boyd, MD, President and CSO of TMi, had this to say about the partnership: “Cyclica has a remarkable team and technology that will accelerate our drug optimization and discovery, providing increased insights into our small molecule assets. We are very excited to work with Cyclica and with their proven Ligand Express™ platform, and believe this partnership will facilitate the development of effective new treatments for patients with blinding eye disease.”
Naheed Kurji, President and CEO of Cyclica said, “We are thrilled to partner with a JLABS @ Toronto resident company, and a great team of scientists at TMi. We look forward to supporting TMi with novel insights and data-driven analytics, as well as the local biotech ecosystem through similar creative business models, in an effort to more efficiently bring novel medicines to patients with unmet needs.”
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Cyclica Inc. has developed, validated, patented and commercialized Ligand Express™, a cloud-based platform that screens small molecule drugs against repositories of structurally-characterized proteins or ‘proteomes’ to determine polypharmacological profiles. Accordingly, Ligand Express™ identifies significant protein targets using an innovative structure-based and drug-centric technology, leverages artificial intelligence to determine the drug’s effect on these targets, and visualizes the predicted drug-protein interactome using bioinformatics and systems biology. The platform provides a unique panoramic view of a small molecule, by identifying on- and off-target interactions that may be expected, as well as those that are unanticipated. By understanding how a small molecule drug will interact with all proteins in the body, Ligand Express™ augments scientific investigation by elucidating mechanism-of-action, prioritizing lead candidates, understanding side effects, as well as determining new uses for existing drugs. For more information please visit: www.cyclicarx.com
TMi is a pre-clinical drug development company uniquely focused on macrophage modulation with lead drug candidate, TMi-018, that is dose-dependently efficacious in pre-clinical studies, both preventing the formation and expansion of “geographic atrophy”, the late blinding complication of dry AMD. TMi-018, is a first-in-class transcriptional modulator of the innate immune system, converting aggressive macrophage behaviour back to neutral. AMD is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in much of the world, robbing the elderly of their sight and autonomy. While treatments for “wet” AMD have transformed lives, they benefit just 12-15% of patients. There are no treatments for patients with “dry” AMD. For more information please visit: www.translatummedicus.com
Senior Solutions Scientist, Business Development
President and CSO
Translatum Medicus inc (TMi)