TORONTO, ON, CANADA– (April 5, 2017) — The labs of Dr. Angus McQuibban and Dr. Peter Lewis at the University of Toronto and Cyclica Inc., all located in Toronto, Canada, have initiated a collaboration with Cyclica to use its Ligand Express™ drug discovery informatics platform. Both research groups will use Cyclica’s structure-based, proteome-wide screening technology, Ligand Express™, to determine the mechanism-of-action of small molecule drug candidates with potential for treating Parkinson’s disease. This study will build upon Dr. McQuibban’s expertise in autophagy and mitochondrial dysfunction related to Parkinson’s disease, as well as Dr. Lewis’ expertise in chromosome structure, protein folding and neurodegeneration, to further elucidate drug candidates identified in co-directed phenotypic screens. “I look forward to evaluating Cyclica’s platform as a potential tool to help us understand the mechanism of action and putative toxicity profile of small molecules already identified in our lab”, said Dr. McQuibban. “This computational approach has the potential to save our research program a substantial amount of time and money, as well as provide insights which could not be achieved by other commercial technologies”, Dr. Lewis explained.
Cyclica’s patented Ligand Express™ platform determines the polypharmacology of drugs in development, with a focus on drug target identification. This first-in-class, disease-agnostic technology facilitates drug development by identifying drugs and their target proteins that could elicit therapeutic effects. By leveraging the current surplus of structurally-characterized proteins, Cyclica’s novel structure-based drug discovery platform aims to digitize drug development pipelines in order to save time and money, as well as generate better medicines sooner for patients in need.
“We are excited to collaborate with two world leaders, Drs. McQuibban and Lewis, in our own backyard, and feel privileged to contribute to a drug discovery and development initiative for a such a devastating disease as Parkinson’s”, said Naheed Kurji, President and CEO of Cyclica.
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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. www.cyclicarx.com
About the McQuibban and Lewis labs:
The McQuibban lab balances basic research with translational studies using small molecule screening to develop novel therapeutics for neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. Focusing on a recently identified pathway that regulates the overall health of the mitochondrial network – mitophagy – the McQuibban lab investigates proteostasis pathways that regulate mitochondrial turnover during cellular stress, with an interest in understanding how mitophagy impacts neurodegenerative diseases.
The Lewis lab studies biochemical processes associated with neurodegeneration, with a focus on the structure and function of chromosomes under disease states. In addition, the Lewis lab is interested in understanding how aberrant gene regulation and protein misfolding can cause certain neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson’s disease.
For more information:
Application Scientist, Cyclica
Associate Professor, Biochemistry
University of Toronto
University of Toronto