Corbin Therapeutics signed an R&D collaboration with Proteorex Therapeutics to identify small-molecule inhibitors of ubiquitin-specific protease 15 (USP15) for the potential treatment of neuroinflammatory diseases. Montreal-based Corbin was founded by AmorChem in January this year, with Can$1 million (approximately $0.74 million) investment, to leverage a USP15 inhibitor drug discovery platform developed at McGill University. The platform includes in vitro and in vivo models for screening and confirming potential lead candidates.

Corbin’s partnership with Toronto-based Proteorex will exploit the latter’s drug discovery platform, which uses small-molecule peptide conjugates (SMPCs) to identify and then optimize fully small-molecule oral drugs against challenging targets. The platform integrates what Proteorex describes as a novel synthesis design strategy, computational modeling, and patient-derived cell-based screening. No financial details of the collaboration were disclosed.

Corbin says research indicates that inhibiting USP15 may have applications in preventing and treating neuroinflammatory diseases, including multiple sclerosis. Commenting on the agreement with Proteorex, Maxime Ranger, Ph.D., president and CEO at Corbin, commented, “Corbin recognized the high value and great potential of Proteorex's innovative technology platform to find novel small molecules inhibiting USP15.”  Aman Iqbal, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO at Proteorex, added, “Through this collaboration, Proteorex's mandate is to turn USP15 into a validated druggable target for the treatment of neuroinflammation.”    

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