Biofocus extends Organon collaboration

By Wai Lang Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pharmacology, Signal transduction

BioFocus and Organon have announced they are to embark on the
second phase of collaborative projects involving key GPCR targets
for therapeutic applications and drug discovery.

This agreement is the next phase of partnerships the two companies have previously arranged and follows a successful screening collaboration. The aim of this second stage is to harness BioFocus' experience and capabilities in the areas of GPCR drug discovery to generate leads for selected Organon targets.

Under the terms of the agreement BioFocus will receive undisclosed fees.

David Phillips, chief business officer at Biofocus​ told​: "The GPCR market is fast becoming a hot area of research within the pharmaceutical industry. Currently a number of drugs on the market can be traced back to their origins using GPCR."

"However, we mustn't get carried away. GPCR is still at an early stage of development,"​ he added.

The superfamily of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) represents one of the most important families of drug targets for the pharmaceutical industry. They represent the largest class of cell surface receptors and thus represent the primary mechanism by which cells sense and respond to their external environment.

12 of the top-20 selling drugs, directly or indirectly target GPCRs, accounted for over $200 billion in annual sales worldwide. Every known GPCR is associated with at least one commercially available drug, suggesting a 100 per cent probability of success for GPCR-based drugs. Examples include Zantac and Pepcid (ulcers); Tenormin and Toprol-XL (hypertension); Risperdal (psychosis); Versed and morphine (pain); Ventolin and Serevent (asthma).

Phillips was unable to disclose any financial details of the latest stage of development. However in commenting on the technology platform's ability to generate near-term revenue, Phillips commented: "Biofocus is sure to gain from this collaboration, generating short term revenues at the very least."

"We essentially will be paid to do the research although it must be pointed out the research is at a very early stage,"​ he added.

According to market researchers HTStec, the Pharma market for GPCR primary screening reagents was estimated to be $70 million in 2004, with an annual growth rate of 26 per cent. In addition, the Pharma market for GPCR profiling was estimated in 2004 to be $37.6 million (€30.4 million) and $36.2 million for in house and outsourced profiling respectively.

Related topics: Clinical Development, Drug Delivery

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