PPD’s X-Chem licenses cardiovascular drug discovery program to Bayer

By Zachary Brennan

- Last updated on GMT

PPD’s X-Chem licenses cardiovascular drug discovery program to Bayer

Related tags Molecule

PPD’s biotech company X-Chem has licensed a second drug discovery program to Bayer Pharma, which follows on a multi-target collaboration the companies established in 2012. 

The latest program comprises several series of small molecule compounds against a cardiovascular drug target.

This license further validates the innovative nature of X-Chem’s team and approach​,” said Hanno Wild, SVP and Head of Candidate Generation & Exploration at Bayer.

Under the terms of this agreement, Waltham, MA-based X-Chem will receive an upfront license fee in addition to payments based on the achievement of defined pre-clinical, clinical and sales milestones, as well as royalties. The financial terms of the license were not disclosed but are commensurate with terms X-Chem established in its collaborations with other major pharmaceutical companies.

X-Chem also has established partnerships with Roche, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and several other leading pharma and biotech companies, as well as academic centers.

We were delighted to work with Bayer on a cardiovascular program which is particularly challenging from a drug discovery perspective​,” said Rick Wagner, CEO of X-Chem. “X-Chem has built its library and discovery engine to meet the challenges of such highly difficult targets and promote the discovery of multiple chemical series directly out of our primary screens​.”

The deal comes just days after X-Chem signed a deal with experts in rare disease at Alexion to lend out its molecular library and help discover new treatments.

Due to the size and diversity of the library, X-Chem can discover multiple novel, potent and selective lead compounds against a wide range of targets, including some that previously failed using conventional screening methods. A number of proprietary innovations in library design, screening methodology and bioinformatics underlie the platform.

PPD upped its stake in X-Chem​ in late September after praising the company’s successful business model.

In particular, X-Chem’s approach to library construction allows for additional chemical reactions to become useable in DNA-encoded library synthesis. Together, these developments result in a much greater repertoire of diversity for small molecules, which cover a range of categories including fragment molecules, small molecular weight heterocyclic compounds, and macrocyclic structures. This diverse library, combined with a heightened ability to detect active molecules, has yielded a robust process that has been highly successful against targets categorized as difficult or intractable.

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