Cambridge, UK and Heidelberg, Germany, 6th December 2011 - Cellzome announces today the award of a grant by the UK government-backed Technology Strategy Board under its Regenerative Medicine Programme: “Tools and Technologies” for a project which will address the need for better characterisation of human stem cells. Cellzome will use its EpisphereTM technology in collaboration with Pfizer Ltd (Neusentis), the University of Sheffield and Plasticell Limited to identify protein fingerprints which are predictive of potentially deleterious changes in the stem cells. The project will be led by Cellzome and the funding will amount to €1.1M (£0.9M) over a period of two years.
This is the third grant awarded this year that leverages Cellzome’s unique position in chemoproteomics and supports the company’s innovative approaches to drug discovery.
In addition to the Technology Strategy Board grant, Cellzome is participating in BLUEPRINT, one of Europe’s largest efforts to decipher epigenomes of the haematopoietic system. Cellzome will apply its EpisphereTM technology to the identification of multiple drug candidates. This programme will be delivered by an outstanding network of academic and biotech partners and Cellzome will receive €1.2 million funding for this work. As part of a separate EU-funded project, known as ORCHID, Cellzome will contribute to the identification of new treatments for tuberculosis using chemoproteomics. Both EU grants were awarded earlier this year as part of the EU 7th Framework Programme.
David Simmons, CSO of Cellzome said:
“The consortia which are funded by these grants are of a high calibre, and they are made up from leaders in their respective fields. They provide an excellent opportunity for Cellzome to explore new avenues for our chemoproteomics platform. Cellzome’s technology is ideally placed to unravel some of the basic regulatory pathways in health and disease and it will contribute to the identification of a new generation of drug candidates for autoimmune disorders and cancer.”
Cellzome is a world leader in chemoproteomics, transforming the sciences of epigenetics and signal transduction into novel drug candidates in inflammatory diseases and oncology. The Company maintains the highest levels of scientific expertise and has active collaborations with the foremost academic laboratories around the world. Cellzome’s technologies work with native proteins in a physiological setting to discover small molecule drugs targeting protein complexes that underlie diseases. The Company has a track record in delivering significant collaborations with top pharmaceutical companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson and Novartis. Cellzome is a privately-held, international, company located in Heidelberg, Germany and Cambridge, UK employing about 100 people.
For more information please visit: www.cellzome.com
About the Technology Strategy Board
The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led government body which works to create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a global leader in innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org
About the Regenerative Medicine Programme
Launched in September 2009, the Regenerative Medicine Programme aims to (a) underpin and enable the best regenerative medicine businesses in the UK and (b) build a connected regenerative medicine community by forming well-linked programmes of work and activities to develop medicines and technology platforms. Developed by the Technology Strategy Board in partnership with the Medical Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Programme is investing up to £21.5m to support priority areas of commercial R&D activity and the development of partnerships.
The BLUEPRINT consortium is a network of academic and industry researchers who join forces to decipher the epigenomes of at least 100 reference epigenomes with a focus on distinct types of haematopoietic cells from healthy individuals and their malignant leukaemic counterparts. The research is embedded in centers for biological research into blood-based diseases, like leukemias or autoimmune diseases. The work complements other international efforts in this area, like the Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC). The project receives in total € 30 million in EU funding and will run for 4.5 years, until March 2016.
ORCHID, "Open Collaborative Model for Tuberculosis Lead Optimisation", focuses on testing new drugs against drug-sensitive and –resistant tuberculosis, with a number of promising molecules as a starting point in the development of new medicines. The consortium brings together TB expertise from academia, government research centres, non-for-profit organizations and small biotechnology companies with funding from the EU's Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7). Under the leadership of the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, more than 25 scientists worldwide will pool their expertise to investigate the potential of three different areas of research, all of which have shown potential activity against TB. The ORCHID is a €10M research project which is receiving €5.4M from the EU's Seventh Framework Programme for Research. The rest of the funds will come from the ORCHID partners, largely from the provision of expertise and resources.
For more information please contact:
Chief Executive Officer
Tel: +49 (0) 6221-137 57-100
Nicole Yost, Jayne Crook
Tel: +44 (0)20 7866 7862