Domainex collaboration with ICR advances breast cancer drug research
14 April 2010
Domainex Ltd and a research team at The Institute of Cancer
Research (ICR), have discovered new compounds with potential for breast
Domainex is now set to provide lead optimisation services alongside
the work being undertaken at the ICR.
Scientists led by the ICR’s Professor Alan Ashworth of the
Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre, working in close
collaboration with Domainex, have discovered drug-like compounds
that inhibit an enzyme from the PARP superfamily, whose expression
leads to the survival of breast cancer cells.
The programme recently received a £4 million research grant under
the Wellcome Trust's Seeding Drug Discovery initiative to finance
Domainex will apply its novel LeadBuilder virtual screening
technology to design and select chemical compounds suitable for
rapid progression. Furthermore, the company will apply its medicinal
chemistry expertise to assist the ICR team to develop drug
candidates for progression into clinical trials.
Founded in 2002, Domainex specializes in the provision of protein
science and medicinal chemistry services to large pharmaceutical and
biotechnology companies as well as academic research groups. The
company is also developing a pipeline of pre-clinical drugs and
Eddy Littler, Chief Executive Officer of Domainex, commented: “We
are very pleased to be working with the team at the ICR who have
unrivalled expertise in the study and treatment of cancer. The
successful prosecution of this project, combined with our other
Wellcome Trust funded collaboration with St Georges Hospital Medical
School and the University of Manchester, demonstrates the value of
Domainex’s core expertise in both computational and medicinal
These two projects, together with other work that we are
undertaking, illustrate our strong commitment to the support of
translational research in academia. The dual combination of the
LeadBuilder platform and our medicinal chemistry expertise creates a
powerful drug discovery tool.”
Professor Alan Ashworth said: “We are delighted that the research
programme is progressing well and look forward to our scientists
continuing to work closely with Domainex, utilising its innovative
technologies and skilled staff, in combination with our own
expertise, for discovery of improved cancer treatments”.
The ICR’s Director of Enterprise Dr Susan Bright added: “Today’s
announcement is very encouraging and illustrates why the research
programme warranted the £4 million grant awarded by the Wellcome
Trust. We shall continue to work closely with our collaborative
partners in the implementation of the next phase of the project.
Another step forward has been taken in specialist drug discovery
geared to enhancing the treatment of cancer”.