January 7, 2011
Emerald and UCB Expand Collaborative Work in Fragment-Based Drug Discovery, Targeting the Development of Small Molecule Antagonists
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA. January 7, 2011. Emerald BioStructures, a leading provider of fragment-based drug discovery services, announced today that it has successfully achieved the second milestone in its collaboration with UCB on the structure-based discovery of small molecule modulators of undisclosed targets.
Working in close collaboration, the team of researchers at Emerald and UCB have solved high-resolution X-ray crystallographic structures of multiple targets, and have identified unique lead series of small molecules. These molecules were designed based on enabling structural insights of fragment hit molecules previously obtained within the collaboration.
“Emerald and UCB initiated their collaboration partnership in January of 2009, and over the last 24 months, have made significant progress,” said Neil Weir, Sr. VP of Research at UCB. “We are very impressed with Emerald’s ability to consistently deliver structural insights in a fast-paced and exciting project that requires continuous innovation.”
“In this collaborative effort, we’ve identified multiple modulators of protein structure and function,” said Alex Burgin, COO of Emerald BioStructures. “We look forward to supporting UCB in their structure-guided design and selection of clinical candidates over the next 24 months.”
In addition, Emerald and UCB have expanded their collaboration in structure-based drug discovery. “The expansion of our UCB collaboration is an important demonstration of the confidence that UCB has in the Emerald team, and is a clear validation of our fragment-based X-ray structure technology, especially when applied to challenging targets,” said Lance Stewart, CEO of Emerald BioStructures. The financial terms of the research fee, milestone and royalty-bearing relationship were not disclosed; however, the project supports multiple full-time researcher equivalents at Emerald.
About Emerald BioStructures:
Emerald BioStructures is an integrated gene-to-structure collaborative research organization specializing in drug discovery services. Emerald operates an efficient high-throughput platform leveraged for fragment-based lead discovery and structure-based drug design. Our scientists provide enabling structural insight for breakthrough drugs that are highly selective and efficacious against chosen targets.
UCB, Brussels, Belgium (www.ucb.com) is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. With more than 8 000 people in about 40 countries, the company generated revenue of EUR 3.1 billion in 2009. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB).
For Emerald BioStructures:
Lance Stewart, CEO
Nancy Nackaerts, External Communications, UCB
Douglas MacDougall or Jennifer Conrad
MacDougall Biomedical Communications