Innovative drug discovery company, Domainex, collaborates with Breakthrough
Breast Cancer and Institute of Cancer Research on novel drug targets
London and Cambridge, UK, 17 March 2009. Domainex today announced a
collaboration on new exciting drug discovery programmes with the Breakthrough
Breast Cancer Research Centre and the Institute of Cancer Research to identify and
develop inhibitors of two recently validated breast cancer targets, tankyrase and IKK-
The collaboration will bring together the Breakthrough Research Centre’s world-class
expertise in the genetics, biochemistry and cell biology of breast cancer and
Domainex’s outstanding capability to discover innovative drugs using its LeadBuilder
hit-finding platform technology and experienced medicinal chemistry team. The
objective of the collaboration is to bring forward inhibitors of both targets to the proof
of concept stage in breast cancer models and then to partner the programmes with
larger organisations for clinical development.
Professor Alan Ashworth, Director of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research
Centre, said: “We are determined to find a wider range of personalised treatments for
breast cancer patients and by working with organisations that are leaders in their field
we will do this faster. That is why we are delighted to collaborate with Domainex who
will help us turn our research into new drugs for patients.”
Domainex specialises in the provision of molecular biology, biochemistry, and
medicinal chemistry services to large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies
and to academic research groups. The company is also developing a pipeline of pre-
clinical drugs and targets.
Dr Eddy Littler, Chief Executive Officer of Domainex, commented: “Domainex is
excited about this collaboration with the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research
Centre that will lead to treatments for a major disease that affects the lives of many
patients and their families. The collaboration validates Domainex’s position as the
drug discovery partner of choice for biotech and university groups, and will also
greatly enhance Domainex’s internal drug discovery pipeline in oncology.”
Breakthrough and Domainex bring complementary skills to the collaboration.
The Breakthrough Breast Cancer Centre occupies a pre-eminent position in breast
cancer research and will enable the collaboration to gain a greater understanding of
the role of these two targets in breast cancer as well as access to a number of
powerful and unique systems that will allow us to study the biochemistry and cell
biology of inhibitors.
Domainex will apply its platform technologies, including LeadBuilder and medicinal
chemistry, to identify robust hits and develop them rapidly into leads. This
collaboration will greatly increase the prospect of identifying and developing inhibitors
of tankyrase and IKK-epsilon for the treatment of breast cancer patients”.
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Photo available on request
Dr Eddy Littler, Chief Executive Officer of Domainex Ltd, with Professor Alan
Ashworth FRS, Director of The Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre.
Domainex and Breakthrough Breast Cancer at the ICR have announced that they are
to collaborate on two new drug discovery projects for breast cancer.
About Breakthrough Breast Cancer
• Breakthrough Breast Cancer is the UK’s leading charity committed to fighting
breast cancer through research, campaigning and education. In 1999
Breakthrough established the UK’s first dedicated breast cancer research
centre. The Breakthrough Toby Robins Breast Cancer Research Centre is
housed in the Mary-Jean Mitchell Green building at The Institute of Cancer
Research in association with the Royal Marsden Hospital.
• Under the directorship of Professor Alan Ashworth FRS, the Breakthrough
Research Centre now has 120 world-class scientists and clinicians tackling
breast cancer from all angles – from understanding the normal growth and
development of the breast, how breast cancer arises and how the cancer
spreads, to treatment and ultimately disease prevention. Scientists at the
Breakthrough Research Centre have a range of expertise and approaches
and together they are working towards a common goal: a future free from the
fear of breast cancer.
• Breakthrough is opening three new research units in Edinburgh, London and
Manchester during 2008/2009.
• For more information: www.breakthrough.org.uk
• 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 with laboratories in Cambridge,
England, and offices in the London Bioscience Innovation Centre.
• Domainex has developed a number of platform technologies specifically
aimed at enabling biotech or university groups who have exciting new drug
targets. Its Combinatorial Domain Hunting (CDH) technology will deliver
protein constructs that are soluble, stable, and produced in high-yield -
thereby opening up the path to high throughput screening, structural biology,
or antibody production. Domainex has also developed LeadBuilder - a virtual
screening approach for targets which is specifically aimed at 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
optimisation and on to candidate selection. Several compounds arising from
these collaborations are currently in clinical evaluation.
• Domainex works with clients on a fee-for-service basis. In 2008, the company
secured investment to establish its own internal drug discovery pipeline based
upon a number of targets in oncology. These targets are being progressed
using Domainex’s platform technologies.
• For more information: www.domainex.co.uk
The Institute of Cancer Research
• The Institute of Cancer Research is Europe’s leading cancer research centre
with expert scientists working on cutting edge research. In 2009, The ICR
marks its 100 years of groundbreaking research into cancer prevention,
diagnosis and treatment.
• The ICR is home to the world’s leading academic drug development team
which has developed many drugs now used as standard cancer treatments. It
continues to be at the forefront of drug development, taking 10 cancer drugs
to clinical trial in the past 10 years.
• The ICR is a charity that relies on voluntary income. It is one of the world’s
most cost-effective major cancer research organisations with more than 95p
in every £ directly supporting research.
• For more information visit www.icr.ac.uk