Domain Therapeutics will use its bioSensAll™ platform to profile the signaling of mutant G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), through a collaboration designed to improve and accelerate the validation of novel GPCR drug targets.

No value was disclosed for the collaboration, which is intended to validate potential targets across a range of therapeutic indications by studying the structure–function relationships of various amino acid substitutions in each of the GPCRs. The indications were also not disclosed.

Pfizer will apply the results of specific mutations on intracellular signaling to guide further investigations in disease-specific models, Domain said, adding that Pfizer has interest in GPCRs with potential therapeutic relevance. In December, for example, Pfizer launched a partnership with Ab Initio Biotherapeutics to use the South San Francisco startup’s proprietary GPCR antibody discovery platform to help engineer antibodies that activate an undisclosed GPCR target.

“By building a better understanding of the signaling profile needed for efficacy, bioSensAll may reduce the attrition rate of early-stage drug development,” Domain CEO Pascal Neuville, Ph.D., said in a statement.

Domain’s Canadian affiliate will use bioSensAll to characterize the basal activities and signaling profile of known ligands of wild-type receptors, then compare these profiles with those of mutant GPCRs. These signaling signatures will be used to inform target validation for different therapeutic indications.

According to Domain, bioSensAll allows for easier understanding of signaling pathways activated by each candidate molecule, thus predicting its pharmacological profile. That allows for choosing at an early stage of drug development the molecules that have the required activity but do not present side effects or induce tolerance to treatment.

bioSensAll was originally developed through the Quebec Consortium for Drug Discovery, or CQDM, a precompetitive pharma and academic research consortium in the Quebec region whose founding partners include Pfizer. A new and more powerful generation of the platform was recently developed by a team of researchers from the University of Montreal’s Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer, led by Michel Bouvier, Ph.D., and from McGill University, led by Stéphane Laporte, Ph.D.

Domain Therapeutics retains exclusive commercialization rights to the bioSensAll technology.

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