The newly established GlaxoSmithKline spin-out, Convergence Pharmaceuticals, has signed a drug discovery collaboration with CRO Selcia to identify and develop new drugs for the treatment of chronic pain. The collaboration will provide Convergence with Selcia’s medicinal chemistry and chemistry support capabilities as a complement to its own ion-channel biology platform and medicinal chemistry and preclinical development expertise.
“We believe the combination of Convergence’s platform and Selcia’s bespoke approach will provide an innovative model for this drug discovery partnership,” remarks Ged Giblin, Ph.D., head of chemistry and preclinical development at Convergence.
Formally launched in October following on the completion of a $35.4 million Series A Financing round, Convergence is focused on the development of ion channel-modulating drugs against pain. The firm’s initial pipeline includes two candidates in clinical development and six earlier-stage compounds.
Lead neuropathic pain candidate CNV1014802 is a small molecule, state-dependent sodium channel blocker targeting the Nav1.7 sodium channel. The compound is ready to undergo Phase II proof-of-concept evaluation. CNV2197944 is a first-in-class, small-molecule, state-dependent calcium channel blocker designed to selectively inhibit highly active Cav2.2 channels. This candidate is poised to start in Phase I trials, Convergence says. Additional Nav and Cav2.2 blockers are undergoing lead optimization.