22 February 2010

The biotechnology company Domainex has secured further financing to develop its Combinatorial Domain Hunting (CDH) technology, and to advance its internal pipeline of oncology targets.  The patented CDH technology puts Domainex in a unique position to clone and express challenging protein drug targets. This funding will be used to take forward the company’s small-molecule drug research portfolio consisting of the kinase IKKe, and a number of methyltransferase enzymes.

The two-stage funding round will bring in a significant investment from Longbow, The Capital Fund, and Takeda Research Investment, Inc. (TRI). This funding should take the company through to a point where Domainex can close a number of corporate collaborations and deals on its novel targets for cancer.

Eddy Littler, CEO of Domainex said: “This investment in Domainex is the next step in our long-term relationship with both Longbow and The Capital Fund, and is a clear indication of their satisfaction with, and commitment to, Domainex. We are also very happy to welcome new investment from Bury Fitzwilliam-Lay & Partners LLP. The involvement of TRI represents an important recognition of the value of Domainex’s unique CDH technology, and its novel oncology pipeline.  We are eagerly looking forward to the next few months during which we anticipate advancing our targets and pipeline to an exciting position. We will of course continue to develop our CDH technology, and will collaborate with Takeda on a number of innovative drug discovery targets”.

Graeme Martin, President & CEO of TRI said “CDH is a truly innovative technology and highly complimentary to Takeda’s existing structural biology initiatives. Our investment in Domainex is intended to help the company further develop this platform, and typifies TRI’s commitment to supporting therapeutic innovation in creative, early stage companies”.

The funding follows the recent strategic alliance between Domainex and drug discovery services company, Pharmidex. The partnership combines their expertise and innovative technologies to provide the market with an integrated, high-quality drug discovery services platform.

The joint service offering amalgamates Domainex’s LeadBuilder technology for cost-effective hit-finding, as well as its highly-experienced medicinal chemistry team, with Pharmidex’s renowned expertise and in vitro and in vivo capabilities in drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK). Concordant with the established track records of both partners, the alliance will have a particular emphasis on tackling the most challenging of scientific problems, including novel or “difficult” drug targets. Examples of this proficiency include Domainex’s proven capabilities in peptidomimetic drugs, and Pharmidex’s recognised expertise in the study of DMPK within the central nervous system (NeuroPK® and NeuroPD®).

About Domainex Ltd
Founded in 2002, Domainex is a spin-out company from University College London, Birkbeck College London and the Institute of Cancer Research that specializes in the provision of combinatorial domain hunting and medicinal chemistry services to large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and is also developing a pipeline of pre-clinical drugs and targets. 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. The CDH technology is based on research conducted by Professor Paul Driscoll, Professor Laurence Pearl, Dr Chris Prodromou and Dr Renos Savva, at the Institute for Cancer Research, University College and Birkbeck College, University of London

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.

For more information: www.domainex.co.uk