Firm will progress initial compound-protein interaction hits to identify lead candidates.

Galapagos is tapping NovAliX for drug discovery expertise in the discovery of small molecule lead candidates against a validated osteoarthritis target. Under terms of the deal, NovAliX will use its Graffinity subsidiary’s surface plasmon resonance (SPR) fragment screening technology to evaluate compound-protein interactions, and apply medicinal chemistry, and structural biology techniques to identify a lead candidate. The firm will receive technology access fees and research funding from Galapagos, plus success-based milestones.

Small molecule drug discovery services specialist NovAliX offers SPR technology, x-ray protein crystallography, supramolecular mass spectrometry, and chemistry expertise to industry partners. The firm’s offerings span discovery, medicinal, structural discovery, and biophysical screening and characterization expertise to integrated fragment-, structure-, and natural products-based drug design and process design, development, and optimization.  

NovAliX’ sphere of expertise builds on the specialist capabilities of its acquired and spin-out companies, including SPR-based fragment screening firm, Graffinity Pharmaceuticals (acquired in October 2010), NMR platform company NMRTec (acquired in January 2010), phytobioengineering firm Photidia (which was spun out from NovAliX in 2006), and cheminformatics tools specialist eNovalys (spun out from NovAliX in March 2009).

In February NovAlix signed a multiyear chemistry services agreement with Janssen-Cilag to support the latter’s drug discovery programs. In March Graffinity inked a fee-based research collaboration with Shionogi under which the firm will provide follow-up chemistry for the generation of small molecule hits against a key drug target. 

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