Brisbane, Australia. 8 January 2009: Xenome Limited (“Xenome”) today announced it has executed a research licence agreement with MedImmune LLC (‘MedImmune”), a wholly owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca.
Under the partnership MedImmune will gain access to Xenome’s xdiscover™ venom peptide library to exclusively screen for drug candidates against two undisclosed targets involved in key pain pathways.
The financial terms of the agreement remain confidential, however Xenome will receive an up-front cash payment for access to the xdiscover™ library. In addition, the partnership allows for MedImmune to fund research at Xenome relating to SAR (structure activity relationship) studies on ‘hits’ from the Xenome library.
The licence agreement also provides MedImmune with the option to enter into product licences on selected peptides from the Xenome library, which will trigger undisclosed milestone and royalty payments.
“We are delighted to bring MedImmune on board as a discovery partner,” stated Xenome’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ian Nisbet. “Together with our partnership with Amylin, the relationship with MedImmune underscores the potential for Xenome’s discovery platform to deliver novel drug candidates. We are seeing significant interest in peptide drug discovery amongst both biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and aim to execute further partnerships during 2009.”
The xdiscover™ library is a proprietary collection of more than 2000 primarily venom-derived peptides and is the result of a unique genomics capability that allows for the highly efficient discovery of novel peptides from cone snail venom tissue. Through the identification of venom peptide sequences, this genetic resource has been transformed into high quality synthesised peptides arrayed into a library suitable for high throughput screening.
Xenome is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of peptide-based therapeutics. 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. In November 2007 Xenome and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMLN) entered into a partnership to screen Xenome's xdiscover™ library for new drug candidates against metabolic and musculoskeletal disease targets. Both Xen2174 and the Amylin partnership leverage off Xenome's unique expertise in peptide chemistry and its ability to translate the evolutionary advantages inherent in venom peptides into highly bioactive, drug-like molecules.
Further information can be obtained from the Xenome website (www.xenome.com).