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Xenome Ltd And Axxam srl Initiate Discovery Partnership Focused On Novel Peptides Against GPCR Targets


8/11/2009 12:05:16 PM

Brisbane, Australia. 05 August 2009: Xenome Limited (“Xenome”) today announced it has executed a research collaboration agreement with Axxam SpA (“Axxam”), a leading biotechnology research organization offering early-stage discovery research services for the life science industry.

This partnership will combine Xenome’s expertise in peptide chemistry and peptide drug development with Axxam’s know-how in target biology, assay development and high-throughput screening with a view to the discovery and development of novel GPCR modulators.

Under the agreement, Axxam will screen Xenome’s proprietary xventureTM peptide library against five undisclosed GPCR targets in therapeutic areas including pain, obesity and ophthalmology. Xenome will optimize promising ‘hits’ resulting from the screening program in order to develop lead molecules suitable for pre-clinical development.

Xenome will have the right to commercialize products arising from the collaboration with both companies sharing the financial outcomes. Financial terms of the agreement remain confidential.

"Xenome is proud to have such an accomplished screening company as Axxam as a partner in assessing its xventureTM peptide library,” said Xenome’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ian Nisbet. “This library is a recent addition to Xenome’s technology platform and the partnership with Axxam will help us establish it as a valuable tool for drug discovery”.

The xventure™ library is a proprietary collection of more than 5500 synthetic peptides that have been designed to mimic the structural motifs of bioactive peptides found in venoms. Central to the library is a novel molecular scaffold that was developed with the aim of producing drug candidates with the efficacy and specificity of peptides as well as the size and stability of smaller molecules. The library represents significant structural and chemical diversity and is suitable for high throughput screening as well as quick and efficient optimization based on Structure-Activity Relationship (SAR) analysis.

About Xenome:

Xenome is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of peptide-based therapeutics. Utilising its expertise in peptide chemistry and its novel technology platform, Xenome translates the evolutionary advantages inherent in venom peptides into new drug candidates.

The Company's lead product, Xen2174, is a novel conopeptide analogue for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. Xen2174 is a non-competitive inhibitor of norepinephrine transporter (NET), a validated target for the management of pain. In an international phase I/II clinical trial in cancer patients, a single intrathecal administration of Xen2174 was found to be safe and well-tolerated across a broad dose range. In addition, the study provided evidence for an analgesic effect that had a rapid onset of action and was long-lasting.

Xenome's discovery platform is based on proprietary libraries of venom peptides, analogues and mimetics. Research license agreements are in place with Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMLN) and MedImmune LLC (a wholly-owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca), each of which have access to Xenome’s xdiscoverTM library for specific indications or targets.

Further information can be obtained from the Xenome website (www.xenome.com).

Read at BioSpace.com

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