Natural products drug company Hypha Discovery signs deal with Domainex to
support its research programme on novel oncology drugs
London and Cambridge, UK, 14th May 2009. Domainex Ltd today announced that it
is helping natural products company Hypha Discovery Ltd to develop drugs based
upon a number of innovative leads that are active against tumour cell lines.
The collaboration will bring together Hypha’s extensive expertise in natural products
lead discovery and Domainex’s outstanding capability to optimise drug leads using its
LeadBuilder platform technology and experienced medicinal chemistry team. Hypha
has identified a pipeline of novel natural products that have significant activity against
tumour cell lines - led by the fully synthetic anti-cancer chemical series HD148, which
was inspired by compounds produced by the fermentation of a tropical mushroom.
Domainex has been supporting Hypha’s drug discovery programme and has
successfully developed a series of low molecular weight anti-tumour agents based
upon the structure of these natural products. The objectives of the project will be for
Domainex to deliver to Hypha an advanced lead molecule, and subsequently a
Dr Liam Evans, Chief Executive Officer of Hypha Discovery Ltd, said: “Having
discovered a series of anti-cancer compounds with such clear scope for chemical
optimisation, it was important to us to find the right medicinal chemistry partner to
drive the project forward. In only three months of working on the synthetic
programme, Domainex have already increased the potency of the series fifty-fold,
while also improving solubility. We’re delighted to have linked up with such an expert
group and look forward to continued success in the development of the HD148
programme, as well as our follow-on oncology projects. ”
Dr Eddy Littler, Chief Executive Officer of Domainex, commented: “Domainex is very
happy to have been selected as Hypha’s partner to work on such an exciting lead
series, which demonstrates the value of the chemical novelty in Hypha’s
MycoDiverseTM library. We look forward to providing the molecules that they need to
take their project forward. The collaboration demonstrates our capability to support
companies with leads identified from natural products, and is further validation of
Domainex’s position as the drug discovery partner of choice for biotech and
university groups. Companies like Hypha, which are investigating the therapeutic
potential of natural products as drugs, or as chemical leads, represent a highly
innovative and important component of the biotechnology industry.”
- ENDS -
About Hypha Discovery Ltd.
• Hypha is a privately held pharmaceutical discovery company uniquely placed to
discover novel drug-leads from a collection of 2,500 highly diverse mushroom fungi
(the basidiomycetes), much of it from tropical rainforest.
• The company is expert in discovering bioactive compounds from fermentations of the
collection, with a high proportion of novelty (about 50%) which is unusual for modern
natural products discovery.
• Hypha has internal research programmes targeted for antibiotic and anticancer
compound discovery. Currently five separate anti-cancer projects are being
progressed, led by the HD148 programme – a fully synthetic series of compounds
that kill tumour cells.
• Hypha is seeking collaborations with companies with a need for novel active
compounds for pharmaceutical development, as well as those interested in novel
enzymes for biofuel applications and other macromolecules.
• Hypha also provides contract services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology
companies, for compound purification and identification (e.g. manufacturing
impurities, natural products from various sources), and biological assays (anticancer,
antibacterial and antifungal).
For more information, contact Liam Evans, Hypha Discovery Ltd, Russell Building No.1,
Brunel Science Park, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, UB8 3PQ, UK
firstname.lastname@example.org Tel +44 (0)1895 814595
www.hyphadiscovery.co.uk Mob +44 (0)7900 564558
• 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
For more information: www.domainex.co.uk