X-Chem is entering a multi-target collaboration with Pfizer aimed at developing several programs for treating inflammatory and orphan diseases. Per the agreement, X-Chem is bringing to the table its discovery engine, which the firm says will leverage a high-diversity DNA-encoded small molecule library to aid in identifying novel leads for Pfizer's programs. Pfizer is picking up an exclusive option to license any compounds generated through the collaboration.

X-Chem's drug discovery engine, according to the company, is based on a library generated by iterative combinatorial synthesis of small molecules tethered to DNA tags, which record the synthetic history of the small molecule. The library is diverse enough to produce multiple families of related molecules that can bind to the target, forming a basis for structure-activity relationships to be used to guide iterative chemical maturation of a lead molecule into a drug.

Tony Wood, svp, Worldwide Medicinal Chemistry at Pfizer, said in a statement that the firm has always been keen to try out new technologies to expand their pipeline of medicines. “The use of ultra-large and highly diverse DNA-encoded small molecule libraries has emerged as a novel technology with potential to generate leads for difficult targets of high importance,” he added.

Pfizer isn't the only firm that has inked multitarget collaborations with X-Chem: Bayer launched one with the drug discovery company back in July of 2012. X-Chem announced in February that it licensed to Bayer an early-stage drug discovery program directed against an epigenetic drug target after achieving a success milestone in the 2012 collaboration.

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