University of Warwick Wins Domainex Ltd's First Discovery STAR Award to Support Hunt for New Chagas Disease Treatment
Published: Sep 03, 2013
Cambridge, UK, September 2, 2013 / B3C newswire / - Domainex Ltd., a drug discovery company specialising in translational research support, has announced that the recipient of its first Discovery STAR Award; Professor Vilmos Fulop of the University of Warwick. This award will give Professor Fulop access to Domainex’s outstanding drug discovery capabilities to support his research for a much-needed new treatment for Chagas disease - a potentially life-threatening disease.
“Domainex received many strong applications to its Discovery STAR award scheme, but Professor Fulop’s project stood out as he had all the elements needed to start a drug discovery project in this area of unmet medical need,” said Eddy Littler, Chief Executive Officer of Domainex, “We very much look forward to helping Professor Fulop to identify inhibitors of his drug target, and hope that in doing so he will be able to access further funding that will support our joint efforts towards finding a new cure for this terrible disease.”
Domainex will provide Professor Fulop with expert drug discovery guidance and exclusive access to its unique LeadBuilder virtual hit screening technology. Following the identification of hits using this approach, Professor Fulop, who has been working with the University of Warwick’s innovation support team, Warwick Ventures, to take forward his research, will be looking for additional funding to progress his work to identify potential new drug candidates against Chagas disease.
Professor Vilmos Fulop of The University of Warwick said ‘I am absolutely delighted with this award and looking forward to working with Domainex. I regard this collaboration as a starting point towards making significant steps in the finding of a new cure for the treatment of neglected Chagas and the related African sleeping sickness disease.’
Chagas disease, also known as American trypanosomiasis, is a potentially life-threatening illness (14,000 deaths annually) caused by the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi). It is found mainly in Latin America, where it is mostly transmitted to humans by the faeces of triatomine bugs and can cause life threatening damage to the heart, nervous system and/or digestive system. Chagas disease kills more people in Latin America than any other parasitic disease, including malaria. However, in the past decade it has been increasingly detected in the USA, Canada, many European and some Western Pacific countries (WHO, 2013).
Chagas disease can be successfully treated, however current therapies have serious limitations, notably the long treatment period (30, 60, or 90 days), the toxicity of the drugs, extreme side-effects and the lack of a paediatric formulation. These issues lead to a high rate of patient non-compliance, and so there is a desperate need for effective drugs which overcome these problems.
Ref: Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis). (2013, March). Retrieved July 2013, from World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs340/en/index.html
Domainex is a drug discovery company that provides services, including computational and medicinal chemistry, gene cloning and expression, to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and to academic research groups. It also offers a unique proprietary technology known as Combinatorial Domain Hunting which is a patented method for expressing difficult protein targets. LeadBuilder is the proprietary lead generation platform that has been developed by Domainex to provide unusually rapid and cost-effective access to high-quality hits. As such, it is particularly well-suited to the needs of groups engaged in translational research, and emerging biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Domainex is also developing its own pipeline of pre-clinical drug candidates.
Domainex is based on the Cambridge Science Park, England and has offices in the London Bioscience Innovation Centre.
About Domainex’s Discovery STAR award
Domainex has launched its Discovery STAR award to support the early stages of drug discovery for a chosen number of applicants to the scheme. At Domainex’s discretion, selected applicants will then be provided with drug discovery advice and selected services free of charge in order to prepare applicants for funding applications to schemes such as the Wellcome Trust SDDI, Technology Strategy Board, Biocatalyst Fund or MRC DPFS.
Domainex plans to operate this scheme every 6 months and will announce the next round shortly.
About Warwick Ventures
Warwick Ventures offers advice and services to the University of Warwick’s innovators. It supports them throughout the process of generating impact and investment in their work, whilst they maintain their academic focus. The innovations it supports span a wide range of technologies and sectors, and new innovations emerge every week.
Head of Business Development
Tel +44 (0)7775 437107
Vilmos Fulop, Professor in Structural Biology, University of Warwick
Tel: 44 (0)24 76572628
+44 (0) 7768 112056 / +44 (0)7795 197271
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