Drug collaboration focuses on infectious disease targets

By Wai Lang Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Infectious disease, Infection

Graffinity, announced today that it has entered into its second
research collaboration with Mutabilis, which aims to discover novel
therapeutics for infectious diseases, building on 2003's
collaboration focusing on another anti-infective drug target.

The formation of this collaboration comes at a time when the anti-infective market is facing a number of serious challenges namely the growing resistance by infective microorganisms to almost all available products.

Researchers are comparing the emerging age of resistance to the pre-antibiotic era that existed before the discovery of penicillin.

It is this very reason that demand for effective antibacterial compounds is growing rapidly and companies are trying to fill their pipelines with products that can meet the challenges of stubborn infectious agents.

By far the largest of the anti-infective segments, antibacterials represent approximately 65 per cent of the $20+ billion (€16.8 billion+) world market in infectious disease drugs.

However, it's also the most crowded of the segments with big pharma and small biotech companies alike speeding toward the market.

Under the terms of the agreement Mutabilis will provide Graffinity with target proteins identified by Mutabilis. Graffinity will apply its proprietary RAISE (Rapid Affinity Instructed Structure Evolution) Technology and drug-fragment chemical microarrays to identify and evolve small molecule hit structures with a focus on compounds with novel modes of action.

Graffinity will receive a technology access fee and a milestone payment upon conclusion of the collaboration. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"Our RAISE drug discovery process speeds our clients through to hit identification like no other screening approach today, while at the same time covering vast areas of molecular diversity due to our drug fragment libraries,"​ said Kristina Schmidt, general manager of Graffinity.

"Our proprietary label- and assay-free high-throughput imaging technology allows us to identify unique novel high quality hits for both known, as well as novel modes of action for our clients."

Graffinity has pioneered RAISE (Rapid Array Informed Structure Evolution), an drug discovery paradigm that enables the identification and development of diverse novel quality leads and drug candidates.

Graffinity's technology team has developed this drug fragment based discovery platform, which is in routine use since 2003 for both external clients as well as In-house programs.

According to Kalorama Information, the worldwide market for antibacterial drugs will grow, driven by rising world infection rates on account of the AIDS pandemic and the effects of urbanisation, globalisation, and demographic shifts.

In addition, troublesome antibiotic resistance is making many of the first-line treatments obsolete, adding to enormous unmet need for new, more potent drugs.

Antibiotic resistance and several impending big-name patent expirations are creating an increasingly competitive development environment, according to the report.

Related topics: Preclinical Research

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