Ottawa, Canada, Jan. 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Orion Biotechnology Canada Ltd., a clinical stage biotechnology company, today announced that it has executed a definitive agreement with the University of Geneva for an exclusive global license to a novel drug discovery platform for the generation of G protein coupled receptor (GPCR) chemokine analogs.
The proprietary platform was developed by Dr. Oliver Hartley and his team at the University of Geneva to facilitate the rapid and low cost identification, optimization, and generation of novel chemokine analog peptide drug candidates. Orion Biotechnology’s initial focus will be on the GPCR superfamily of chemokine receptors, building on technology and know-how accumulated by Dr. Hartley’s team.The chemokine – chemokine receptor system plays a central role in immunology, for both the maintenance of a healthy immune system and in response to infection. At the same time, perturbation of the chemokine-chemokine receptor system is associated with numerous serious diseases, including cancer, infectious diseases, inflammation, and neurological disease such as multiple sclerosis.
Mark Groper, President and CEO of Orion Biotechnology said “We are very excited about using this unique technology platform to discover new drug candidates targeting therapeutically important chemokine receptors. We believe leveraging this proprietary platform will reduce the cost and timelines required for generating new chemokine analogs by a factor of ten. In addition to adding to our development pipeline, these valuable new assets can be licensed to other parties with an R&D interest in chemokine targets. Chemokine analogs have key advantages as a drug class and, with this platform, we intend to position ourselves as the go-to provider for other pharmaceutical companies pursuing chemokine targets.”
The terms of the license include a Collaboration Agreement for Orion and the University of Geneva to work together to develop new peptide drug candidates moving forward. Dr. Raluca Flükiger, Licensing Officer at the University of Geneva Technology Transfer Office (Unitec), added, “We are delighted to have concluded this agreement with Orion Biotechnology, which we hope will enable the full potential of this technology to be realized. Through ongoing collaboration with Orion, the University’s goal is to facilitate the development of new therapies for currently untreatable diseases. In addition, we are optimistic that the molecules discovered using this platform will stimulate research towards better understanding of the biology and pharmacology of chemokine receptors.”