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Biotech Partners to Focus on Drugs Targeting G-Protein Coupled Receptors

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 05 Nov 2012
An agreement between the French company Domain Therapeutics (Illkirch-Strasbourg, France) and Japanese Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Osaka, Japan) is designed to promote the discovery of small molecules targeting G-Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs).

GPCRs are not only the largest protein family in the human genome but also the single biggest target for therapeutic agents. Ligand binding to these receptors activates their associated G protein, which then activates an effector enzyme to generate an intracellular second messenger. All GPCRs contain seven membrane-spanning regions with their N-terminal segment on the external face and their C-terminal segment on the cytosolic face of the plasma membrane. This large receptor family includes light-activated receptors (rhodopsins) in the eye and thousands of odorant receptors in the nose, as well as numerous receptors for various hormones and neurotransmitters. Although these receptors are activated by different ligands and may mediate different cellular responses, they all mediate a similar signaling pathway.

Under the terms of the collaborative agreement for development of GPRC-directed drugs, Ono Pharmaceutical will provide Domain Therapeutics with an upfront payment and provide research funding for collaborative research programs and success-based milestones. Domain Therapeutics will receive royalties on sales of the products.

Domain Therapeutics will apply its proprietary DTect-All GPCR drug discovery platform and utilize its expertise in GPCR medicinal chemistry and pharmacology to design and optimize small molecules into drug candidates having activity against GPCRs selected by Ono Pharmaceutical.

Ono Pharmaceutical will then have worldwide exclusive rights to develop and commercialize any pharmaceutical product arising out of the drug discovery collaboration.

“This collaboration with Ono further confirms the value of our differentiated drug discovery process and of our expertise in the field of GPCRs. It constitutes an important step towards the objective of Domain Therapeutics to collaborate with pharma partners on integrated projects, from target to drug candidate,” said Pascal Neuville, CEO of Domain Therapeutics. “We are delighted to be collaborating with Ono, which is recognized as a leading Japanese pharmaceutical company.”

Dr. Kazuhito Kawabata, executive director of discovery and research at Ono Pharmaceutical, said, “We highly appreciate Domain Therapeutics’ DTect-All technology and strongly believe that the company is the partner of choice to identify GPCR drugs. This collaboration will strengthen Ono’s drug discovery capability in research areas of Ono’s expertise with significant unmet medical needs. We are expecting that innovative drugs will be created through this collaboration.”

Related Links:

Ono Pharmaceutical
Domain Therapeutics


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