Oxford, 24 August 2010 – Chroma Therapeutics Limited announced today that it had advanced its novel macrophage-targeted HDAC inhibitor, CHR-5154, into preclinical development, triggering an undisclosed milestone payment from partner GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
HDAC inhibitors have been demonstrated to have broad anti-inflammatory activity, in addition to their activity in a variety of cancers, and may be useful for the treatment of disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. CHR-5154 utilises Chroma’s proprietary esterase-sensitive motif (ESM) technology, which targets compounds to specific cells in the inflammatory disease process. CHR-5154 is the second programme Chroma has advanced into development from its ESM technology platform.
Ian Nicholson, CEO of Chroma, commented “We are pleased to have made rapid progress towards validating clinical studies in our collaboration with GSK. We believe this progress validates our belief that our ESM technology will provide a strong and sustainable flow of novel, differentiated development candidates.”
Chroma entered into a collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline, through its Center of Excellence for External Drug Discovery (CEEDD), in June 2009. Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, Chroma will undertake four discovery and development programmes to identify small molecule therapeutics and is eligible to receive milestones, option fees and tiered royalties based on compounds arising from the collaboration. Overall, Chroma has the potential to receive in excess of $1 billion in total milestone and option payments in the event that all four programmes are successful.
Chroma Therapeutics Limited
Ian Nicholson Chief Executive Officer +44 (0)1235 829120
Richard Bungay Chief Financial Officer
Jon Coles +44 (0)20 7404 5959
Chroma has developed its "Esterase Sensitive Motif" (ESM) technology which attaches specific chemical motifs onto active drugs to enhance the delivery of the drugs to specific targets within cells. The result is a drug-motif that is freely transported into the cell but, once the moiety is cleaved within the cell by intracellular esterases, it leaves an active charged species that cannot cross the cell membrane easily. Over time, the drug-motif will accumulate within the cells, resulting in increased potency and duration of action.
Chroma has developed a subset of these chemical motifs that are cleaved only within monocytes and macrophages. This approach has potential in the treatment of inflammatory disorders, by helping to deliver a drug selectively to these cell types, which are implicated in a variety of serious diseases including inflammatory disorders, cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes and other conditions.
About Chroma Therapeutics
Chroma Therapeutics, based in Oxford (UK), is a drug discovery and development company focused in the fields of oncology and inflammatory disorders. Chroma is building a broad pipeline of first- or best-in-class treatments utilising its expertise in chromatin biology and its novel intracellular accumulation technologies, which include the ability to selectively target drugs to macrophages. Chroma is backed by a number of leading specialist investors, including Abingworth, Essex Woodlands, Gilde, Nomura Phase4 and The Wellcome Trust. More information about Chroma can be found at www.chromatherapeutics.com.
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