Partnership will progress targeted cancer immune therapy drug discovery

APEIRON Biologics, a biotech company developing breakthrough therapies to treat cancer and respiratory conditions, has selected Domainex to provide integrated lead optimisation services in order to advance the development of inhibitors for the E3 ubiquitin ligase Cbl-b through small molecule drug discovery.

Under the terms of the agreement, Domainex, an integrated drug discovery research service partner, will provide its expertise in medicinal and computational chemistry, screening, structural biology and ADME/PK to advance APEIRON’s promising Cbl-b targeting compound series APN431 towards pre-clinical development.

To date, Domainex has provided APEIRON Biologics with its expertise in hit identification, both fragment-based and virtual screening, by establishing and deploying a suite of biophysical assays against variants of the E3 ligase Cbl-b and other members of this target class, to determine the binding affinity, mechanism and selectivity of promising compounds. The partnership will now progress into its next stage, with Domainex providing lead optimisation services.

Dr. Tom Mander, CEO of Domainex, said: “We are delighted to move into this new phase of our partnership with APEIRON Biologics to support the discovery and development of new medicines to treat cancer. Our multi-disciplinary team of scientists has been successful at generating multiple compound series with promising properties. Their commitment through seven-day a week operations and implementation of shift-patterns has enabled us to continue to progress client-sponsored projects throughout the COVID-19 pandemic whilst maintaining social distancing at our state-of-the-art Medicines Research Centre. We look forward to continuing our journey of discovery with APEIRON.”

Peter Llewellyn-Davies, CEO of APEIRON Biologics, commented: “Finding the right research partner for the development of our highly innovative immune-oncology therapeutics is essential for fast, efficient and ultimately successful results. We are delighted to expand our partnership with Domainex for our Cbl-b targeted APN431 project and help us to quickly move to the next stage of its development. Domainex provides deep know-how in state-of-the-art structure based medicinal chemistry and assay development to help us achieve our ambitious goals. With our small molecule program APN431 we have an additional approach to target Cbl-b, next to our autologous cell therapy program APN401, which is currently in clinical Phase I development.”

Image credit: National Cancer Institute

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