Phylogica forms target discovery spin-off


Sets up new venture called Phenomica with University of Cambridge in the UK

Cambridge University researchers have joined forces with Australian drug discovery company Phylogica to launch a new venture, which will pursue a novel application of Phylogica’s Phylomer peptides to discover disease-associated targets.

Phylogica says the spin-off has the potential to secure new revenue streams that would otherwise not be possible without substantial investment in both capital and technical expertise.

The new company, called Phenomica, will be based in Cambridge, UK and combine Phylogica’s Phylomer libraries, which comprise billions of naturally derived peptides, with technology from Cambridge to identify vulnerable points in a disease that can be the focus for new drug development.

The move follows extensive collaboration in the area of target discovery and validation with the molecular therapeutics programme directed by Professor Ashok Venkitaraman at the Hutchison/Medical Research Council (MRC) Research Centre in Cambridge.

The researchers at Cambridge and Phylogica reported that phenotypic screening of Phylomer libraries against biological pathways associated with the development of cancer resulted in exceptional hit rates for modulating these pathways and hence a better understanding of the disease process and how to block it.

Since then, intense work on the technology by the Cambridge team has established that this novel application of the libraries can be used more broadly as a tool to identify and validate disease-relevant biological targets for drug discovery.

Phylogica says it is receiving growing interest from prospective pharmaceutical partners in the use of Phylomer libraries for target discovery.