The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the Takeda Pharmaceutical Company are expanding an initial collaboration launched in 2010 between scientists on the Florida campus of TSRI and Envoy Therapeutics, one that reportedly led to several breakthroughs in identifying potential new compounds for neurological and psychiatric diseases, to search for new drug targets for a variety of diseases. Envoy was acquired by Takeda Pharmaceuticals last November to obtain access to Envoy’s CNS drug pipeline.
“We originally came to Jupiter because of Scripps Florida and are thrilled that the potential of our original collaboration has been realized,” Stephen Hitchcock, svp, drug discovery at Envoy said. “Now we’re moving into new therapeutic areas with different biological targets. The first step is to find small molecules that can validate those targets—and Scripps Florida is amongst the very best places to do that.”
Takeda will be utilizing Scripps Florida’s high-throughput screening facility, which is part of its larger translational research infrastructure. The facility reportedly has expertise in transforming slow, labor-intensive biological and biochemical bench-top experiments into high-throughput screening experiments (“screens”). Fully automated robotic screening platforms can then test more than 650,000 drug-like compounds for pharmacologic activity. After completion of the screens, the facility uses other technologies to support the development of clinically relevant compounds.
Takeda isn’t just working with Scripps to develop new drugs: in February, they announced a partnership with Resolve Therapeutics to develop compounds for the treatment of lupus and other autoimmune diseases. Takeda will help fund continued development of Resolve’s lead compound RSLV-132 through an initial payment of $8 million to Resolve and will pay Resolve an option exercise fee, plus the potential for additional development milestones totaling $247 million. Resolve is also eligible to receive royalties on product sales.