Linking Ubiquitin Research to Drug Discovery

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Ubiquigent Strengthens Team to Deliver Cutting Edge Drug Discovery Services, Research Tools and Chemistry and Announces Launch of New Website

Dundee, UK, 24th February, 2016: Ubiquigent Limited, a company specialising in providing ubiquitin cell-signalling system drug discovery services and research tools, announced today that it has significantly enhanced its drug discovery service capabilities by strengthening its commercial and chemistry teams to deliver an even more comprehensive range of services to the global life science research community.  Jason Mundin has joined the board as Commercial Director to drive the growth of Ubiquigent along with Jason Brown, founder and now Scientific Director and Mark Treherne, Executive Chairman.  Laurence Ede also joins as a non-executive director to support the development of the company.  John Harris has joined the Scientific Advisory Board to lead Ubiquigent’s new chemistry strategy.  Ubiquigent also announced the launch of a new website (https://www.ubiquigent.com/) to provide improved access to the Drug Discovery Services, Research Tools, Chemistry and expertise to support ubiquitin system-focused drug discovery and basic research programmes.

John Harris founded BioFocus, a highly successful preclinical stage contract research organisation (now part of Charles River). As interest in kinase inhibitors took off, he conceived the focused library as a fast track to clinical development candidates and designed a portfolio of small molecule libraries for screening, leading to many patents in the kinase and subsequently other areas. Now it is becoming increasingly clear that the small molecule modulation of other major cell signalling processes, such as protein ubiquitylation and deubiquitylation, possess the potential for further breakthroughs of similar therapeutic magnitude to kinase inhibition.  Along with the major advances in the high-quality biological assays being developed by Ubiquigent, John believes that the stage is now set for a similar impact of focused medicinal chemistry targeting ubiquitin system proteins; starting at Ubiquigent with targeting deubiquitylase enzymes.

Laurence Ede is the former Managing Director and co-owner of Tocris Bioscience, where he gained significant experience within the life science industry. Following a Management Buyout in late 2006, Laurence focused on developing Tocris to be an increasingly significant player within the life science arena, which in turn led to the successful trade sale of the business to US buyer R&D Systems (Techne) in April 2011.

Jason Mundin began his career as a research scientist at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), before joining the team that founded Pharmagene Laboratories, which focused on drug discovery through the application of human-tissue-based approaches. While at Pharmagene, he transitioned to a commercial role, taking responsibility for business development activities in the UK, US and Japan. Following his time at Pharmagene Jason held a number of commercial positions within small and medium-sized biotech companies and latterly headed strategic alliances for the European Bioinformatics Institute, an outstation of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).

Ubiquigent’s Executive Chairman, Dr Mark Treherne commented: “I look forward to working closely with the strengthened Ubiquigent team that will drive the execution of the company’s strategy in this rapidly growing market. I particularly welcome the opportunity to work again alongside both John Harris, as a highly experienced medical chemist, and Jason Mundin, as commercial director.  I also value Laurence Ede’s commercial acumen and drive, which will provide a new impetus to the board.”

Contacts

Jason Mundin, Commercial Director, Ubiquigent

E-mail: jason.mundin@ubiquigent.com, Phone: +44 (0) 7976 000683

 

About Ubiquigent

Ubiquigent Limited is a specialist developer and supplier of Drug Discovery Services, high quality Research Tools and Chemistry to the life science research community worldwide. Ubiquigent’s scientific and business interests have a clear focus; namely the ubiquitin, ubiquitin-like, and integrated signalling systems.  The company has established its scientific and business credentials with both academic researchers undertaking fundamental scientific discovery and pharmaceutical and biotechnology company scientists exploring the potential of ubiquitin cascade-focused drug discovery.

Ubiquigent benefits from high calibre backing including from IP Group plc, US investors, the UK Medical Research Council, and the University of Dundee. The company’s headquarters and laboratory operations are based in the UK and are located in a state-of-the-art facility adjacent to the MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit at the University of Dundee (both founded by Professor Sir Philip Cohen).  In addition to Ubiquigent’s own facilities and capabilities, such proximity provides ready access to a huge range of additional scientific expertise (1,000+ life-science researchers on site), technological competencies, and assay and analytical platforms.

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 February 24th, 2016 in News