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Nov 29, 2011

CompuGen, DiscoveRx to Develop Peptides Against GPCRs

  • Compugen and DiscoveRx inked a collaboration centered on the development and commercialization of Compugen-designed peptides against G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) targets identified using DiscoveRx’ GPCR technologies. The collaboration follows a recent pilot project that indicated that peptides in Compugen’s library include a number of potentially therapeutically relevant peptides against a small subset of GPCR targets evaluated, and also confirmed the ability of DiscoverRx’ GPCR assays to identify novel peptide/GPCR target interactions.

    Under terms of the agreement DiscoverRx will use its PathHunter® platform and cell-based GPCR assays and technologies to match peptides in the Compugen GPCR targeted peptide library with GPCR targets of interest to DiscoveRx’ clients. Resulting peptide candidates will then be available for licensing from Compugen. The financial aspects of the deal are based on a revenue-sharing model that provides different pre-arranged sharing percentages for each category of revenue anticipated.

    “We see this collaboration as a unique opportunity to address a key drug target class through a combination of DiscoveRx’ most comprehensive and market-leading GPCR cell-based assay platforms, and Compugen’s leading predictive capability for peptide discovery,” comments Pyare Khanna, Ph.D., DiscoveRx CEO. “We believe that via this partnership, pharmaceutical and biotech companies will be able to gain access to novel peptides for both research and product development purposes.”

    Compugen’s GPCR peptide library comprises over 900 peptide molecules, predicted through the use of its GPCR Peptide Ligand Discovery Platform. The technology exploits a series of sequential computational biology models and machine learning capabilities for the prediction and selection of product candidates.

    DiscoveRx offers a portfolio of over 400 non-force coupled GPCR cell lines designed to detect GPCR signaling through second messenger activation, arrestin binding, and receptor internalization. The firm says access to the same GPCR target in different technology formats allows multiple signaling pathways to be assayed in parallel using the same high-throughput chemiluminescent format.

    In September the firm announced a collaboration with NC-IUPHAR to accelerate progress on understanding the functions of orphan GPCRs and their signaling mechanisms. The collaboration will exploit DiscoveRx’ PathHunter® β-Arrestin platform, which comprises a panel of over 98 cell lines expressing orphan GPCRs. Results from the collaboration will be available through the IUPHAR database. 

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