Domainex Ltd., a fully integrated provider of drug discovery services from its Medicines Research Centre near Cambridge, UK, has entered into a research partnership with LUNAC Therapeutics Limited to discover novel anticoagulant therapies that have a reduced risk of bleeding compared to current therapies.
The aim of the partnership is to discover a drug that inhibits the protease target, activated Factor XII. This coagulation factor is implicated in the formation of pathological clots, but not the stemming of bleeding, so individuals who lack Factor XII do not exhibit bleeding symptoms unlike those with a deficiency in any other coagulation factor.
Intellectual property generated by Prof Helen Philippou and Dr Richard Foster, arising from unique insights during a decade of academic research into Factor XII, has enabled LUNAC to secure £2.65 million of funding for this programme in the first close of its Series A financing round led by Epidarex Capital. LUNAC, in conjunction with Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) and the University of Leeds, has also been successful in securing £3.14 million from Innovate UK’s Biomedical Catalyst programme. LUNAC, MDC and Domainex will work collaboratively on the project, each contributing their unique skills and expertise to aid its progression.
The Domainex team will provide structure-guided medicinal chemistry and biochemical screening, coupled with drug metabolism, safety and pharmacokinetic assessment of promising candidates. The goal is to advance the project efficiently into pre-clinical development and ultimately to clinical evaluation.
Dr Trevor Perrior, Chief Executive Officer at Domainex, said: “We are very pleased to have been chosen by LUNAC as their strategic drug discovery partner. We see this as further validation of our proven expertise in enriching the medicines pipelines of our partners. We look forward to working closely with Prof Philippou and her team towards the identification of novel, orally active anticoagulation medicines with minimal bleeding risk.”
Prof Helen Philippou, Scientific Founder of LUNAC Therapeutics, said: “There is an urgent need for anticoagulant therapies with reduced bleeding risk. Our research has validated that targeting activated Factor XII may lead to differentiated therapies and a new treatment option for patients. We chose Domainex as its highly skilled scientists bring a wealth of experience and we are very confident in their ability to help us realise our aspiration for LUNAC to bring new anticoagulant medicines to patients.-Bio Space