Linking Ubiquitin Research to Drug Discovery

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Ubiquigent and University of Dundee announce collaboration to develop novel ubiquitin system targeted compound libraries

Agreement brings together expertise to design, develop and market small molecule libraries targeting ubiquitin system proteins

Dundee, UK, 08th October 2014: Ubiquigent Limited, a company specialising in ubiquitin cell-signalling system drug discovery capabilities and services, and the Drug Discovery Unit (the DDU) of the University of Dundee, announced today they have entered into a collaboration agreement to develop and market new ubiquitin system targeted compound libraries aimed at discovering potent and selective therapeutics across multiple areas including; cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic, neurological and musculoskeletal, and infection and immunity.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ubiquigent and the DDU will design, develop and characterise small molecule compound libraries targeting the intracellular proteins of the ubiquitin system to provide a valuable source of novel targeted libraries to unlock new medicinal chemistry opportunities.

As the exclusive commercialisation partner, Ubiquigent will market these compound libraries to its customers as research tools, enabling and supporting their drug discovery programmes. The DDU will utilise the know-how developed through the collaboration to further in-house exploration of novel ubiquitin system cancer targets.

To coincide with the announcement, Ubiquigent also announced today that Dr Mark Treherne has been appointed as Chairman of the Board to drive the new collaborative business opportunities that will be opened up with intelligently designed compound libraries. Dr Treherne was previously a Non-Executive Director on the Ubiquigent Board and has been instrumental in initiating kinase drug discovery in both pharmaceutical and integrated contract research companies. He now believes that ubiquitin drug discovery is emerging as the next big opportunity beyond kinases.

Commenting on the collaboration, Dr Jason Brown, Managing Director of Ubiquigent, said: “We are very pleased to be working with a highly regarded university-based unit that is expert at developing medicinal chemistry solutions to novel targets. The collaboration supports Ubiquigent’s goal of being the first, fully integrated provider of biology, assays, small molecule libraries and compound profiling services in the ubiquitin signalling system field. As such, we are well placed to help our pharma and biotech partners accelerate access to the field and support their ongoing programmes.”

Professor Paul Wyatt, Head of the DDU, added: “Ubiquitin-system drug discovery holds great promise and we are excited to be working with Ubiquigent to develop compound libraries which hold the potential to deliver wide reaching therapeutic benefit. The initiative provides an ideal opportunity to combine the DDU’s strength in medicinal chemistry with the technical and commercial expertise provided by the team at Ubiquigent.”

On the appointment of Dr Mark Treherne as Chairman, Dr Jason Brown commented: “We’re delighted that Mark has accepted the position of Chairman of the Board. In his role as a Non-Executive Director, he has made an invaluable contribution to the growth and success of Ubiquigent and as Chairman, we look forward to benefitting from his guidance as we continue to develop as a key partner to pharma and biotech.”

Contacts

Media enquiries
Sarah Jeffery
Zyme Communications
E-mail: sarah.jeffery@zymecommunications.com
Phone: +44 (0) 7771 730919

At Ubiquigent Ltd
Dr Jason Brown
Managing Director
E-mail: jason.brown@ubiquigent.com
Phone: +44 (0) 1382 388292

At University of Dundee
Roddy Isles
Head, Press Office
E-mail: r.isles@dundee.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0) 1382 384910

About Ubiquigent (www.ubiquigent.com)

Ubiquigent Limited is a specialist supplier of high quality reagents, kits and drug discovery assay development and compound profiling services to the commercial and academic life science research community. Ubiquigent’s focus is the ubiquitin signalling system and the company has established its scientific and business credentials both with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies pursuing ubiquitin system-focused drug discovery as well as academic researchers undertaking fundamental scientific discovery.

Ubiquigent benefits from high calibre backing including from the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the University of Dundee. The Company is located in a state-of-the-art facility adjacent to the MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (founded by Professor Sir Philip Cohen) at the University of Dundee. In addition to Ubiquigent’s own facilities and capabilities, such proximity provides ready access to a significant range of additional scientific expertise and capabilities.

About the Drug Discovery Unit, University of Dundee (www.drugdiscovery.dundee.ac.uk)

The Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) is the only fully operational, fully integrated drug discovery group working across multiple diseases based within a UK university. The DDU tackles unmet medical need through small molecule drug discovery, bridging the gap between academic scientific research and commercial drug discovery and development. It employs over 70 experienced scientists from both academic and pharmaceutical industry backgrounds, with a professional, pioneering approach to their work. The DDU’s aim is to collaborate with partners in Dundee and beyond to identify lead compounds, potential drug targets and novel tools and approaches to develop improved treatments for a wide range of debilitating and deadly diseases.

About the ubiquitin system

The ubiquitin system offers many new drug discovery target opportunities across multiple therapeutic areas including cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic, neurological and musculoskeletal, and infection and immunity. Involving the modification of proteins through the attachment of the protein ubiquitin, or ubiquitin-like proteins (Ubls), ubiquitylation and related Ubl modifications are key to the control of cellular protein homeostasis as well as signalling, akin to the critical role played by phosphorylation (approximately 30% of commercial drug discovery programmes target phosphorylation enzymes), and holds similar potential for clinical utility.

Posted on October 8th, 2014 in News