Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ono Pharmaceuticals enter into collaboration with Domain Therapeutics for discovering small molecules targeting GPCR receptors

Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.  has entered into a collaboration with Domain Therapeutics S.A.   focused on discovering novel small molecules targeting G-Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs).  GPCR is increasingly gaining prominence as a target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Taking clue from existing development on GPCR receptors,  GPR-40 and GPR-119 agonist appear as promising targets for type 2 diabetes.

GPR 40 Agonist
 The most late stage compound targeting GPCR receptor is from Takeda (TAK875, GPR-40 agonist) and is currently in Phase 3 trials. The compound has shown compelling clinical data in Phase  2 studies. In the Phase 2 trials, TAK-875 has demonstrated efficacy comparable to Sulfonylureas, and tolerability was much better than sulfonylureas and similar to DPP-IV's (low hypoglycemia and weight neutral).

GPR 119 Agonist

GPR119 has been found to be expressed mainly in the endocrine cells in the pancreas and 
gastrointestinal tract. Along with improved insulin secretion, GPR119 agonist have also demonstrated potential for weight loss. GPR119 seem to be better targets, but have not been clinically validated as GPR40 agonists. The most advanced candidate among GPR119 agonists is from Astellas – PSN821 in Phase 2 trials.

Terms of the deal 
Domain Therapeutics will apply DTect-AllTM, its proprietary GPCR drug discovery platform and its expertise in GPCR medicinal chemistry and pharmacology to design and optimize small molecules into drug candidates having activity against GPCRs selected by Ono. Ono will have worldwide exclusive rights to develop and commercialize any pharmaceutical product arising out of the drug discovery collaboration. 
Under the agreement, Ono will pay to Domain Therapeutics upfront payment, research funding for the collaborative research programs, success-based milestones on the research and development progress, as well as royalties on sales of the products
About Domain Therapeutics
Domain Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company located in Strasbourg, France, dedicated to the discovery and early development of small molecules targeting GPCRs, one of the most important classes of drug targets. Domain Therapeutics discovers GPCR drugs by exploiting its innovative and
differentiated approach. The company's pipeline is composed of new chemical entities, ranging from hits to optimized leads for significant CNS and metabolic disorders. Domain Therapeutics is also giving access to its proprietary technologies to pharmaceutical companies.