Cambridge, UK, February 14, 2013 / B3C newswire / - Domainex Ltd., a UK-based drug discovery company, has announced an investment round to raise £1.5m of capital. This round had a successful first close in December 2012, with investments made by Longbow Capital, Bury Fitzwilliam-Lay and Partners and University College London Business (UCLB), who together represent the interests of more than half of Domainex’s current shareholders.
Longbow Capital is leading the round and will now seek to raise the remaining investment before a second close at end of April. Edward Beckett, Managing Partner at Longbow, commented “We are very pleased with the progress Domainex has made on its drug development pipeline and on its service business. The further investment will help to develop a range of drug compounds that can address some of the most acute diseases. This has already generated interest from many leading pharmaceutical companies and is expected to drive growth in Domainex’s value for its shareholders”.
The investment will be used to advance Domainex’s kinase based drug development programmes against TBK1/IKKe and epigenetics targets. Edward Littler CEO of Domainex said ‘Over the last year Domainex’s programmes targeting TBK1/IKKe have made great strides, showing utility in cancer, and also potential in many inflammatory diseases. We are now approaching the selection of a clinical candidate and some of the investment will be used to ensure we move this programme forward to an out-licensing deal with a pharma partner.’ He added: “The majority of the investment will be used to progress our epigenetics portfolio targeting lysine methyltransferases. With the increased strength of the service business and the additional investment, Domainex’s resources should be sufficient to deliver a number of exciting clinical drug candidates that larger pharmaceutical companies are interested in.
Keith Powell Chairman of Domainex said “It is exciting to see Domainex moving the internal drug development programmes forward to create value while at the same time building and strengthening its effective and impressive drug discovery technology partnering business. Recently Domainex has obtained new contracts to support UK universities in translational research and has a number of future opportunities to expand its capabilities further during 2013 ”
• Domainex uses unique and proprietary technologies to resolve common bottlenecks facing the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in the post-genomic era. Major discovery 'gaps' exist between the vast amount of genomic information that is now available, the accessibility of the corresponding proteins for use in target validation and drug discovery, and the identification of robust hits in a cost effective manner. Founded in 2002, Domainex is a privately owned company based in Cambridge, UK.
• Domainex has developed a discovery platform, which enables rapid progression of drug discovery projects from novel target through to Candidate Drug by means of its Combinatorial Domain Hunting technology, LeadBuilder virtual hit screening software, and its integrated approach to medicinal and computational chemistry.
• Domainex’s patented CDH technology enables the cloning and expression of soluble drug target protein domains in E. coli, followed by the identification of those constructs that are able to bind a ligand. This enables binding assays to be developed, facilitating hit identification studies. In only 3-4 months, all expressible ligand binding domains of a target protein are identified (from libraries of 20,000-100,000 constructs), enabling key rate limiting steps in early drug discovery to be easily overcome and resulting in large time savings over standard approaches.
• Domainex has also developed LeadBuilder - a virtual screening approach for targets which is specifically aimed at quickly identifying hit molecules that are ideally suited for further development.
• The experienced medicinal chemistry team has a proven track record in supporting biotech or university groups by providing expertise to take hit compounds through lead optimization and on to candidate selection. Three compounds to date arising from these collaborations are currently in clinical evaluation, with two additional drugs in preclinical studies.
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