The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and its affiliate, the California Institute for Biomedical Research (Calibr), established a drug discovery and development collaboration with China’s HitGen to identify new drug candidates in therapeutic areas, including oncology, regenerative medicine, and virology.

The collaboration, which is HitGen’s fourth announced in 2017, will exploit the firm’s DNA-encoded library (DEL) technology to identify new small-molecule leads against targets identified by the collaboration. “HitGen’s commitment to developing and deploying DEL technology is a great fit for our new model for translational research in the nonprofit sector,” commented Peter Schultz, Ph.D., president and professor of chemistry at TSRI, and CEO of Calibr.

HitGen says its DELs contain more than 25 billion novel, diverse, drug-like compounds, built on hundreds of distinct chemical scaffolds. The firm is exploiting the technology to discover an in-house pipeline of potential drug candidates, and through drug discovery collaborations with pharma, biotech, and academic partners.

Just a week ago, HitGen announced a research collaboration and license deal with Pfizer to build novel DELs for screening against Pfizer targets. Within the last 3 months, HitGen signed a DEL-focused research and discovery deal with MSD (Merck) and a license agreement with Cancer Research Technology (CRT) to develop a new class of drugs against lung cancer identified using the DEL platform.

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