Drug discovery collaboration to progress inhibitor project  


Domainex has supported the collaboration between Queen’s University Belfast (UK) and Ipsen to research, develop, manufacture and commercialise FLIP inhibitors – a programme that Domainex has supported since its inception. 


At the start of the project, Domainex conducted a LeadBuilder virtual screen that generated the initial hit matter. Following this, it worked with the Queen’s team to provide integrated medicinal chemistry services to develop the initial hits. To further advance this research into the role of FLIP inhibitors in cancer, Queen’s secured a Wellcome Trust Seeding Drug Discovery award. 

What is FLIP? 

FLIP is a major apoptosis-regulatory protein that is frequently overexpressed in haematological and solid tumours (including colorectal, lung and pancreatic cancer). FLIP has been implicated in the regulation of cell death, is a key oncology target and has been shown to be upregulated with tumour progression in a variety of cancers. 

Official comments 

Dr Ray Boffey, Executive Director of Medicines Research at Domainex, commented: “The Domainex drug discovery team is proud to have delivered a series of FLIP inhibitors for the Queen’s team, and we hope that these lead to first-in-class drugs that will improve the lives of patients with cancer.” 

Professor Tim Harrison, McClay Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at Queen’s and Co-PI, went on to comment: “We are excited about the potential of the novel, first-in-class small molecule FLIP inhibitors that we have been able to develop and thank Domainex for its support of the medicinal chemistry programme which has allowed us to progress the programme to this stage”. 

Dr Lynsey Bilsland, Wellcome Trust Innovation Lead, added: “The FLIP inhibitor program is an excellent example of using novel ideas in drug discovery to try and improve cancer outcomes. Domainex was instrumental in supporting this. We have high confidence in the teams at Ipsen and Queen’s in further developing this technology into the clinic.” 

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