Cyclica Inc

Cyclica Announces Collaboration with Dr. Cecilia Sanchez of Tulane University to Identify Novel Drug Targets for Systemic Scleroderma

TORONTO, ON, CANADA and NEW ORLEANS, LA, USA (February 16, 2017) – The Sanchez labat Tulane University, located in New Orleans, LA, USA, and Cyclica Inc., located in Toronto, ON, have engaged in a collaboration using Cyclica’s Ligand Express™ drug discovery informatics platform. Dr. Cecilia Sanchez will use Cyclica’s structure-based, proteome-wide screening technology, Ligand Express™, to identify novel drug targets for a rare multisystem autoimmune disorder, systemic scleroderma (SSc). This study will build upon Dr. Sanchez’s expertise in the pathobiology of SSc, in order to strategically investigate, identify, and prioritize candidate therapeutic targets. “I’ve enjoyed my working relationship and interactions with Cyclica to date, and look forward to using their Ligand Express platform to help me identify novel proteins that will explain the mechanism-of-action of emerging drugs for systemic scleroderma. Their platform will be valuable in my research as it provides me with novel and critical insights much faster than other approaches”, Dr. Sanchez 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 target proteins that could elicit therapeutic effects. By leveraging Cyclica’s proprietary and comprehensive database of refactored protein structures, the Ligand Express™ 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 privileged to continue to contribute to Dr. Sanchez’s meaningful research programs, and are excited to be part of the journey towards identifying new therapeutically-relevant protein targets which could make a positive impact on the lives of those afflicted with this rare autoimmune disorder, Our ongoing commitment to work with leading researchers like Dr. Sanchez follows our vision of being an integral utility platform for R&D going forward.”, said Naheed Kurji, President and CEO of Cyclica.

The goal of this project is to validate novel proteins as potential therapeutically-relevant targets for treatment of SSc, which would accelerate the discovery of viable treatments, both through de novo drug design or drug repurposing methods.

About the Sanchez lab:
The Sanchez lab is interested in the roles of Sirtuins, autophagy and epigenetics in lung diseases. Her work is focus in understanding the pathogenesis and the development the novel therapeutic paradigms in lung fibrosis. Dr. Sanchez received an ATS Foundation/Scleroderma Foundation Research Grant (2013-2015) for her research in autophagy and the use of FDA approved drugs to treat systemic scleroderma, and is currently a recipient of the Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant in Aging studies for her work in the role of sirtuins in lung aging and fibrosis.

About Cyclica:
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.

For more information:
Cecilia G. Sanchez
Assistant Professor
Pulmonary Diseases
Tulane University

Steven Molinski
Application Scientist