Lunac Therapeutics has chosen UK-based Domainex for drug discovery services researching novel anticoagulant therapies that have a reduced risk of bleeding compared to current therapies.
The aim of the partnership is to discover a drug that inhibits the protease target, activated Factor XII. This coagulation factor is implicated in the formation of pathological clots, but not the stemming of bleeding, so individuals who lack Factor XII do not exhibit bleeding symptoms unlike those with a deficiency in any other coagulation factor.
Intellectual property generated by Prof Helen Philippou and Dr Richard Foster, arising from unique insights during a decade of academic research into Factor XII, has enabled Leeds University spinout, LUNAC, to secure £2.65 million of funding for this programme in the first close of its Series A financing round led by Epidarex Capital.
Prof Helen Philippou, Scientific Founder of Lunac Therapeutics, said: “Our research has validated that targeting activated Factor XII may lead to differentiated therapies and a new treatment option for patients.”
In conjunction with Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) and the University of Leeds, Lunachas also been successful in securing £3.14 million from Innovate UK’s Biomedical Catalyst programme.
Lunac, MDC and Domainex will work collaboratively on the project, each contributing their unique skills and expertise to aid its progression.
The Domainex team will provide structure-guided medicinal chemistry and biochemical screening, coupled with drug metabolism, safety and pharmacokinetic assessment of promising candidates. The goal is to advance the project efficiently into pre-clinical development and ultimately to clinical evaluation.
Dr Trevor Perrior, CEO of Domainex, said: “We look forward to working closely with Prof Philippou and her team towards the identification of novel, orally active anticoagulation medicines with minimal bleeding risk.”