26 February 2013

UCLB spinout company, Domainex Ltd has announced an investment round to raise £1.5m of capital. The first round was successful, with investments made by UCLB, UCL, Longbow Capital and Bury Fitzwilliam-Lay. Longbow Capital is leading the round and will now seek to raise the remaining investment before a second close at end of April 2013.

The investment will be used to advance Domainex’s kinase based drug development programmes against TBK1/IKKe and epigenetics targets. Dr Eddy Littler, CEO of Domainex said “Over the last year Domainex’s programmes targeting TBK1/IKKe have made great strides, showing utility in cancer, and also potential in many inflammatory diseases. We are now approaching the selection of a clinical candidate and some of the investment will be used to ensure we move this programme forward to an outlicensing deal with a pharma partner.”

He added: “The majority of the investment will be used to progress our epigenetics portfolio targeting lysine methyltransferases. With the increased strength of the service business and the additional investment, Domainex’s resources should be sufficient to deliver a number of exciting clinical drug candidates that larger pharmaceutical companies are interested in.”

Domainex also recently announced its Discovery STAR Award to support academic groups at the early stages of drug discovery. Domainex’s STAR Award scheme will provide successful applicants with virtual hit screening using Domainex’s LeadBuilder platform and/or drug discovery consultancy services. The aim will be to bridge a current ‘funding gap’ for these activities, thereby allowing projects to progress to an inflection point that is suitable for larger external grant-funding schemes.

Translational Research is the conversion of early-stage discoveries into new health products. Domainex is a leader in the support of academic translational research and has secured funding with numerous groups at the forefront of drug target research. Once funding is in place, and in full collaboration with the academic partner, Domainex has then deployed its own capabilities in medicinal and computational chemistry, biochemistry and DMPK testing to progress hit compounds through to the identification of clinical candidate drugs.

Dr Littler says “Domainex has successfully supported numerous academic groups across Europe and the UK to apply for drug discovery funding from a range of sources. However, sall-molecule hits are typically required before funding can be secured, and the application process can be challenging for those without a commercial background. Domainex’s Discovery STAR Award will enable this gap to be filled for the selected recipients”.

Keith Powell Chairman of Domainex said “It is exciting to see Domainex moving the internal drug development programmes forward to create value while at the same time building and strengthening its effective and impressive drug discovery technology partnering business. Recently Domainex has obtained new contracts to support UK universities in translational research and has a number of future opportunities to expand its capabilities further during 2013”.

About Domainex
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 based in Cambridge, UK.

For more information, see: www.domainex.co.uk

About UCLB
UCLB is a leading technology transfer company that supports and commercialises research and innovations arising from UCL, one of the UK’s top research-led universities.

UCLB has a successful track record and a strong reputation for identifying and protecting promising new technologies and innovations from UCL academics. It invests directly in development projects to maximise the potential of the research and manages the commercialisation process of technologies from the laboratory to market.

UCLB supports UCL’s Grand Challenges of increasing UCL’s positive impact on and contribution to Global Health, Sustainable Cities, Intercultural Interaction and Human Wellbeing.

For further information, please visit www.uclb.com