Sygnature Discovery Ltd has entered a collaboration with Epigeneron Inc., a leading Japanese bio-venture company that uses a unique cutting-edge technology to identify potential drug targets that regulate the expression of disease-related genes.
The two companies have signed a multi-project collaboration agreement to develop small molecule compounds of novel targets identified by Epigeneron’s unique technology, combined with the expertise of Sygnature’s highly experienced scientists.
Tokyo-based Epigeneron Inc is a university-launched bio-venture company and focuses on epigenetic drug discovery and development of treatments for intractable diseases such as cancer, fibrosis, and CNS diseases (including depression and autism).
Epigeneron’s Locus-specific Chromatin Immunoprecipitation (ChiP) technology enables the identification of molecules that are physically associated with genomic regions of interest. This allows researchers to concentrate on the analysis of those molecules ensuring candidate proteins are more likely to yield viable targets than the conventional “candidate protein” approach. In addition, locus-specific ChIP also helps to detect redundancy in candidate proteins and perform simultaneous inhibition of their functions. The scientists can therefore start with the most relevant candidate proteins and perform thorough analysis. Furthermore, such analysis allows for the selection of proteins with specific patterns of expression or functions in disease tissues, making it possible to discover highly relevant epigenetic drug targets with minimal side effects in normal tissue.
Dr. Hiroki Wada at Sygnature Discovery says: “Sygnature’s proven track record in the effective delivery of clinical candidate molecules from hit stage, combined with Epigeneron’s cutting-edge technology demonstrates a paradigm shift from ‘traditional’ drug discovery approaches to a more flexible and innovative style. This collaboration is an interesting model for future drug discovery activity between the UK and Japan. Japan is an increasingly important market for Sygnature, and we are looking forward to building on this collaboration and working together with the team at Epigeneron.”
Epigeneron’s CEO, Tetsuya Mishima adds: “We are very pleased to start this collaboration with Sygnature Discovery and to realise the transformation from undruggable targets to druggable ones. This will help patients who are facing various difficulties in existing therapies by providing novel treatment options.”