MANCHESTER and LONDON, England, April 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Conformetrix Ltd, a leader in optimising drug discovery and design, and AstraZeneca announced today that they have signed a research collaboration agreement under which Conformetrix's proprietary NMR-based technology will be applied across AstraZeneca's pre-clinical therapeutic pipeline to enhance lead discovery and hit identification.
Conformetrix's technology determines accurate three-dimensional structures - or conformations - of drug molecules in their bioactive states. This is achieved without the need for traditional structural information regarding the protein target of each drug and provides researchers with valuable information on how development-stage compounds are likely to interact with their targets. This new information should improve the efficiency and quality of the lead identification, lead optimisation and candidate selection stages of drug discovery programmes. Under the terms of the two-year collaboration, the technology will also be used to determine the bioactive conformations of naturally occurring ligands as templates for drug library enhancement and hit identification.
Commenting on today's news, Conformetrix's CEO, Dr Sam Williams, said, 'Conformetrix is delighted that its first collaborative deal is with AstraZeneca, a company with a strong reputation in innovative science-led R&D. We believe that this deal provides important validation of our technology, which improves the quality and efficiency of drug discovery, reducing the number of molecules needed to find a drug and enhancing the likelihood of clinical success. The Conformetrix team is looking forward to working with our new partner on this exciting programme.'
Mike Snowden, Vice President and Head of Discovery Sciences, AstraZeneca, said: "We are excited to be working with Conformetrix. We believe their technology will provide a powerful addition to our hit identification and lead optimisation approaches, supporting our strategic objectives to improve the quality and choice of candidate compounds for our early pipeline."
In addition to an undisclosed upfront payment, Conformetrix will receive research funding and be eligible for milestones as certain targets are met. The discovery programme will be managed by a joint AstraZeneca-Conformetrix research team.
About Conformetrix Ltd
Conformetrix is a Manchester, UK-based company focused on optimising drug discovery and design. It was founded in 2008 as a spin-out from the University of Manchester. The company uses its NMR-based technology to solve the dynamic 3D structures of a broad range of biomolecules, including peptides, cofactors, oligonucleotides and carbohydrates. Since Conformetrix's NMR technology shows what shapes molecules adopt when they are active, it provides high-quality templates for drug discovery and design, and valuable information for drug candidate optimisation. In addition, the data is generated faster and more cheaply than by standard techniques such as X-ray crystallography. Conformetrix has solved structures for several large pharmaceutical companies, as well as developing proprietary drug programmes, and has been funded since inception by specialist life science investor Aquarius Equity Partners. For more information, please go to http://www.conformetrix.com.
AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit: http://www.astrazeneca.com
For further information please contact:
Sam Williams, CEO, +44(0)7881-588947
Emma Palmer Foster, Strategic Communications Consultant, +44(0)7880-787185
Laura Woodin, Media Relations, +1-302-885-1087
SOURCE Conformetrix Ltd