Moscow, Russia-based ASINEX has extended its discovery chemistry agreement with Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development for an additional 12-month period. J&J first signed up ASINEX to provide chemistry services in June 2002.
An undisclosed number of ASINEX scientists have been working closely with J&J's Janssen Pharmaceutica subsidiary in order to design and synthesise libraries of new compounds. The collaboration has also included lead optimisation and custom synthesis services.
Aside from its lead generation and optimisation services, ASINEX also supplies diverse, small molecule libraries for screening and building blocks for combinatorial chemistry, with a collection of some 350,000 drug-like small molecules in its compound collection.
Recently, the firm launched three more focused libraries, targeted against kinase, G protein-coupled receptor and ion channels. The GPCR targeted library has 5,009 compounds against 16 different targets, and ASINEX has generated screening data against the serotonin 5-HT2a and dopamine D2 receptors, with 5-HT1a and D1 receptors set to be included in an updated version.
The Kinase targeted library has 4,307 compounds, against 11 different targets, with screening data available for 5 kinases (Csk, p38, Abl, CDK2 and FGFR). Finally, the ion-channel library has 1,629 compounds against 4 ligand-dependent ion-channels, namely NMDA, AMPA, GABA, and NAch,
The new contract with J&J is the latest in a string of collaborations signed by ASINEX in the last year. For example, in May, ASINEX the company into a lead optimisation agreement with Swedish biopharmaceutical company Biovitrum, and in April it signed a similar deal with the USA's Avalon Pharmaceuticals.