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18-Jul-2014
  IOTA publishes review with Genentech scientists describing the use of mechanism-informed phenotypic screening (MIPS) in oncology drug discovery
   
2-Apr-2014
  IOTA Pharmaceuticals in 7.8M consortium tackling neglected parasitic diseases
   
21-Sep-2012
  IOTA InFarmatik Press Release
   
22-Feb-2011
  IOTA announces KINOMED, a new partnership to accelerate protein kinase drug discovery Cambridge, UK / Odense, Denmark / Lund, Sweden, February 22, 2011
   
17-Aug-2009
  New consortium to develop drugs for neglected tropical diseases
   
23-Apr-2008
  IOTA announces SPR initiative with Beactica AB
   
21-Dec-2007
  IOTA announces FBDD screening services
   
21-Dec-2007
  IOTA announces collaboration with Vitas M-laboratory and new FBDD library:IOTA-Vitas 4000
   
5-Aug-2007
  IOTA Pharmaceuticals established; research centers in the UK, the Netherlands, and India.
   
3-Aug-2007
  IOTA announces FBDD Initiative with the VU University, Amsterdam
   
25-Sep-2007
  IOTA announces first FBDD product: IOTA Diverse 1500
   
 
 

18-July-2014 - IOTA publishes review with Genentech scientists describing the use of mechanism-informed phenotypic screening (MIPS) in oncology drug discovery.

http://www.nature.com/nrd/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nrd4366.html 

A paper by the Genentech scientists John Moffat and Joachim Rudolph and the IOTA scientist David Bailey, describing the emerging relationships between target-based drug discovery (TDD) and phenotypic drug discovery (PDD) in oncology, appeared today in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. Entitled "Phenotypic screening in cancer drug discovery – past, present and future", the paper reviews progress in oncology drug discovery over the past 15 years, and describes how defining the molecular mechanisms underlying the functional behaviour of cancer cells promises to provide new routes for cancer drug discovery through a process of "mechanism-informed phenotypic screening" (MIPS).

Their concepts are described in the figure below, taken from the paper, which illustrates how the component technologies underpinning target-based drug discovery (TDD; left panel) and phenotypic drug discovery (PDD; right panel) contribute to the respective approaches. It also indicates how dependent PDD is on the development of new technologies through which to leverage limited supplies of patient-derived tissue. By contrast, the large-scale technologies that are characteristic of TDD (such as genome sequencing, recombinant protein expression, protein NMR and X ray crystallography), and that have received massive investment from the pharmaceutical industry over the past few years, provide a steady supply of druggable molecular targets. But how relevant to clinical disease is the TDD approach? New technologies are now being developed and deployed to support PDD through patient-derived cells, high-content screening and three-dimensional cell culture. Sitting at the interface between TDD and PDD, mechanism-informed phenotypic drug discovery (MIPDD; centre) presents an opportunity to translate TDD into more clinically relevant PDD screening systems, at a time when tumour genetic profiling is uncovering the clinically relevant 'cancer signatures' that are diagnostic of underlying disease mechanisms (MMOA, molecular mechanism of action). 

For more information on IOTA’s new programmes in Mechanism-informed Phenotypic Screening (MIPS) and High-content Screening (HCS), contact Dr David Bailey at IOTA Pharmaceuticals.

 
 

2 April 2014  IOTA Pharmaceuticals in €7.8M consortium tackling neglected parasitic diseases

Five academic institutions, two governmental institutes and two leading SMEs, from Europe, Africa and Latin America, are joining forces to develop novel drugs against parasites. The 4-year EU-funded project led by VU University Amsterdam is called PDE4NPD: PhosphoDiEsterase inhibitors to target Neglected Parasitic Diseases.

Standstill in neglected parasitic disease treatment

Neglected parasitic diseases (NPDs) form an enormous obstacle to the development of communities across the world. The diseases are classified as ‘neglected’ as investments in finding cures for these illnesses are extremely low, especially when considering their devastating impact on human and veterinary health. The NPDs addressed in this project – Chagas disease, human African Trypanosomiasis, Leishmaniasis and Schistosomiasis – collectively result in 6.6 million disability-adjusted life years.

During the last 30 years, only 9 new drugs targeting these NPDs have come to market. Some of these treatments cause severe side effects, while others are very expensive or are threatened by drug resistance issues. One cause for this standstill is the lack of sufficient financial incentive due to the low return on investment in these diseases from the perspective of the pharmaceutical industry. A paradigm shift in policy and a substantial joint effort to address this discovery gap is urgently required.

Drug discovery platform

The PDE4NPD project enables both public and private partners to join forces within a EU Seventh Framework program to tackle these widely acknowledged healthcare needs. The consortium consists of VU University Amsterdam (NL), University of Glasgow (UK), University of Kent (UK), University of Antwerp (BE), The Spanish National Research Council (ES), Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz (BR), Theodor Bilharz Research Institute (EG), European Screening Port (DE), IOTA Pharmaceuticals (UK) and Top Institute Pharma (NL) and combines various drug discovery approaches into one platform that is dedicated to developing drugs against parasite phosphodiesterases (PDEs): a family of well¬-characterized enzymes.

“Previous studies have shown that targeting parasite PDEs is a viable strategy to combat parasitic disease and that PDEs are highly druggable”, states principal investigator Rob Leurs of VU University, “as well-known drugs such as Viagra® and Daxas® effectively target diseases caused by human PDEs”, continuing: “This consortium has all the expertise to develop parasite‐specific PDE inhibitors with high clinical potential, especially the state-of-the-art structural biology and screening technologies required for finding new molecules with drug-like properties.”

“In parallel, our team of parasitology research groups will perform phenotypic screening on various parasites to identify substances that will kill the parasites. The consortium will further develop those compounds that demonstrate anti-parasitic activity working through PDE as the key drug target”, comments Leurs, adding: “Ultimately, PDE4NPD will develop into a generic platform in which any parasite PDE can enroll. The integrative approach allows the accumulation of fundamental knowledge with an efficiency that is typical for approaches that revolve around one target.”

Role of IOTA Pharmaceuticals Ltd

IOTA Pharmaceuticals, a company based in Cambridge, UK, has been performing research on NPDs for over 5 years and was part of an earlier team of companies targeting Trypanosomiasis. “IOTA’s drug discovery platform centers on a technique called fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD), which we have developed in association with our collaborators at VU University Amsterdam. With FBDD, we first identify small chemical fragments that bind to different parts of the therapeutic target, in this case a phosphodiesterase. Then, we elaborate these fragments into a larger compound with higher affinity for the target”, explains Dr Paul England, head of IOTA’s drug screening operations, adding: “We look forward to working closely with the other members of the PDE4NPD consortium to produce medicines to eradicate these devastating diseases”.

Additional information

For more information on PDE4NPD, please contact TI Pharma communications manager Hiliana Fienig.
For more information on the role of IOTA Pharmaceuticals, please contact Dr. Paul England.

 
 

Cambridge, UK; Budapest, Hungary; 21st September, 2012

New Fragment-based Lead Discovery (FBLD) Library Screening Services announced in a collaboration between IOTA Pharmaceuticals (Cambridge, UK) and InFarmatik (Budapest, Hungary)

IOTA Pharmaceuticals Ltd, based in Cambridge, UK, and InFarmatik Ltd, based in Budapest, Hungary, have joined forces to market FBLD screening services for early-stage drug discovery.


The IOTA-InFarmatik collaboration couples IOTA Pharmaceuticals’ extensive experience in molecular screening with InFarmatik's established chemical synthesis capabilities. The first objective has been to produce and validate designs for fragment libraries targeting protein kinases, as an example of a gene family based FBLD screening platform. It is intended to expand this platform over the coming 12 months, to encompass a full range of discovery targets and screening technologies, led by commercial demand.
Immediate access to new sets of FBLD library compounds from InFarmatik will become available through this collaboration, augmenting the coverage of IOTA’s established, proprietary FBLD libraries (e.g. IOTA Diverse 1500 and IOTA-Vitas 4000), and allowing rapid progression of partners’ targets, from concept to lead, as described in more detail on the IOTA website (see www.iotapharma.com).


Dr David Bailey, heading IOTA, commented "Fragment-based lead discovery (FBLD) is a fast, efficient and productive route to NCE discovery. Our combined technologies offer extensive and reasonably-priced FBLD discovery platforms to academic, pharma and biotech customers, who simply plug their targets into our optimised screens to obtain validated fragment profiles. We see this initiative as highly complementary to IOTA’s other collaborations, such as those with Kinomed, which focus on delivering detailed structural and kinetic information on specific lead compounds”.


Dr Laszlo Kovacs, heading InFarmatik, commented “Our collaboration with IOTA is already proving very successful - we have translated our chemical design concepts into a range of useful FBLD fragments for kinase drug discovery. We look forward to applying similar technologies to other commercial targets, exploiting our growing experience of synthetic chemistry in drug discovery and development.”


Initial results from the IOTA-InFarmatik FBLD Screening Platform will be presented at the Fragment-based Lead Discovery Conference in San Francisco on 23 - 26 September 2012. Additional information on these new FBLD screening services can be obtained from either Dr David Bailey, CEO, IOTA Pharmaceuticals (david.bailey@iotapharma.com) or Dr Laszlo Kovacs, Managing Director, InFarmatik Ltd (lkovacs@infarmatik.hu).


About IOTA
IOTA Pharmaceuticals provides FBLD-based molecular design, compound screening and lead discovery services to its partners in the pharmaceutical industry. For more information about IOTA, please visit www.iotapharma.com.


About InFarmatik

InFarmatik is a specialist organic chemistry company which synthesises drug compounds for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology screening markets. For more information about InFarmatik, please visit www.infarmatik.com.

 
 

February 22, 2011 Cambridge, UK / Odense, Denmark / Lund, Sweden,

IOTA announces KINOMED, a new partnership to accelerate protein kinase drug discovery

The KINOMED Partnership has been established to provide an integrated package of services for protein kinase inhibitor discovery and development. KINOMED provides a single solution for kinase drug discovery, integrated from the discovery platforms of three European drug discovery companies: IOTA Pharmaceuticals, Kinase Detect and Saromics.

The KINOMED platform provides: kinase production and crystallization; kinase in silico, biochemical and biophysical screening; kinase fragment-based lead discovery; kinase structure- and ligand-based lead optimisation, and kinase medicinal chemistry services, all within a single, state-of-the-art offering. Kinomed is funded by the Eurostars program of the European Union.

“We are excited to be working with IOTA and KinaseDetect in the KINOMED Project. Both companies are led by world-known researchers with impressive track records within the kinase and kinase drug discovery fields,” says Dr. Derek Logan, CSO of SARomics Biostructures.

Prof. Olaf-Georg Issinger, Director of KinaseDetect, comments: “Structure-based drug design in combination with fragment-based lead discovery is a powerful combination in modern drug discovery. We are collaborating with IOTA Pharmaceuticals and SARomics Biostructures in developing the KINOMED platform to provide the pharmaceutical industry with off-the-shelf three-dimensional structures of kinases and their complexes with novel lead compounds. The provision of such an integrated service platform will greatly accelerate the drug discovery process for this important class of drugs.”

Dr. David Bailey, Director and Co-founder of IOTA, states: “Fragment-based lead discovery at IOTA combines identification of fragments with high ligand efficiency with the power of structure-based drug design, rapidly optimising ligand binding and selectivity in drug-like molecules. Within the KINOMED Partnership, we will work with clients to develop these leads into a new generation of kinase therapeutics.”

About IOTA Pharmaceuticals - www.iotapharma.com

IOTA Pharmaceuticals was founded in 2007 to offer services to the pharmaceutical industry in the emerging area of fragment-based drug discovery. Activities completely span the hit finding and lead optimization stages of drug development, and include target analysis, focused fragment library construction, in silico screening, biochemical and biophysical screening, structure- and ligand-based design and medicinal chemistry services.

About KinaseDetect - www.kinasedetect.dk

KinaseDetect was founded in 2001, and since 2002 has offered recombinant protein kinases to major pharmaceutical companies and to academic customers. Kinase assay development is also available as a service to pharmaceutical companies, and several specific projects for different companies have been carried out.

About SARomics Biostructures - www.saromics.com

SARomics Biostructures is the leading Scandinavian provider of structural biology and in silico drug discovery services. The company accelerates its customers’ drug discovery processes by providing contract R&D support in the areas of protein crystallization, X-ray protein structure determination, NMR spectroscopy and computational chemistry. Since its foundation in 2006 the company has successfully carried out a number of projects for companies such as Biovitrum, Active Biotech, LEO Pharma, Inimex Pharmaceuticals and others.

Contacts for further information

To obtain further information about current targets and technologies, or to obtain a specific quotation for new structure-led discovery programs, please contact KINOMED using sales@kinomed.com. For further general information and for the KINOMED corporate presentation, please visit the KINOMED website - www.kinomed.com

 

 
 

17 August 2009, New consortium to develop drugs for neglected tropical diseases

A new consortium has been formed to boost drug development for the treatment of African sleeping sickness and Leishmaniasis, diseases that affect millions of people worldwide. A total budget of nearly 3.6 million euros has been allocated over the next 4 years to develop effective drugs for these diseases. The consortium is formed by IOTA Pharmaceuticals, Mercachem, Nycomed, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, the Dutch Royal Tropical Institute, the University of Bern, the VU University of Amsterdam and TI Pharma.

Rob Leurs, the project’s principal investigator, comments: “African sleeping sickness and Leishmaniasis are diseases caused by parasites. Both diseases are prominent on the World Health Organization’s list of neglected tropical diseases for which no effective medication is available.” The new consortium will target parasite-specific Phosphodiesterases to develop and screen drug candidates for clinical evaluation and the treatment of both diseases. Leurs continues: “This new project combines the knowledge and experience of leading European laboratories and promises to make a major contribution to the treatment of neglected tropical diseases.”

African sleeping sickness

Recent estimates indicate that over 60 million people are at risk of contracting the African sleeping sickness (also called African Trypanosomiasis), with 300,000 new cases occurring each year. The disease appears in 36 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and is endemic in south-east Uganda and western Kenya, killing more than 40,000 Africans each year. The African sleeping sickness parasite, most commonly Trypanosoma brucei, is transmitted to humans by tsetse fly bites.
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Leishmaniasis

Leishmaniasis is found in many tropical and sub-tropical countries, in settings as diverse as the rainforests of Central and South America to the deserts of West Asia and the Middle East. 350 million people are at risk of developing the disease, with as many as 12 million people worldwide being infected and 1.5–2 million new cases occurring each year. Leishmaniasis presents in cutaneous, visceral and mucosal forms, with the visceral form of the disease alone having an estimated incidence of 500,000 new cases each year, and and causing 60,000 deaths. Many different Leishmania species are implicated in the disease, which is transmitted by sand flies.

Neglected diseases framework

Neglected diseases such as African Sleeping Sickness, Leishmaniasis and Malaria, represent a major economic burden on developing countries. Within its project portfolio, TI Pharma is seeking to develop solutions to these diseases, mobilizing public and private partners in multilateral consortia – bringing together a wide range of competences and resources. This new project is TI Pharma’s fourth initiative in neglected diseases. Other projects focus on the development of a protective malaria vaccine, a ‘proof of concept’ vaccine for Chikungunya, an effective HIV therapy, and formulations that can resist tropical conditions without refrigeration for both oxytocin and insulin as well as vaccines for hepatitis B and influenza. These projects illustrate TI Pharma's commitment to neglected diseases research.

For more information, please contact Ingeborg van der Heijden: + 31 71 3322036.

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a not-for-profit product development partnership founded in 2003 by five publicly-funded research organizations –  Brazil’s Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, the Indian Council of Medical Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, the Malaysian Ministry of Health, and Institut Pasteur, an international research organization as well as WHO’s Tropical Diseases Research program and an international humanitarian organization called Médecins Sans Frontières. DNDi has developed the largest R&D portfolio for kinetoplastid diseases ever and, with its partners, has already made three new treatments for neglected diseases available. For further information, please visit www.dndi.org.

IOTA Pharmaceuticals is a privately-owned drug discovery company, providing structure-based molecular design, compound screening and lead development services to its partners in the pharmaceutical industry. IOTA specialises in fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD), applying its proprietary FBDD technology to produce selective drugs from commercially relevant gene families, which include the phosphodiesterases. We work with clients on a target-exclusive basis, providing access to our proprietary technology and considerable pharmaceutical discovery experience within the framework of dedicated Drug Discovery Partnerships (DDPs). For more information about IOTA, please visit www.iotapharma.com.

More >>

Mercachem is a privately owned, independent contract research organization offering state-of-the-art organic chemistry, medical chemistry and process R&D services to accelerate the drug discovery and development process in a flexible and cost-effective way. Mercachem was founded in 1997 and employs 105 people. The company is located in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. It moved to a brand-new laboratory facility covering an area of 3000 m² in 2006. Working for major pharmaceutical and biotech companies throughout the world, Mercachem is recognized for its high-quality products and services and its fast problem-solving capabilities. More information on Mercachem can be found on the company website (www.mercachem.com).

Nycomed is a privately owned global pharmaceutical company with a differentiated portfolio focused on branded medicines in gastroenterology, respiratory and inflammatory diseases, pain, osteoporosis and tissue management. An extensive range of OTC products completes the portfolio. Its R&D is built to be open for partnerships as in-licensing is a cornerstone of the company’s growth strategy. Nycomed products are available in more than 100 countries. It has strong platforms in Europe and in fast-growing markets such as Russia/CIS, and Latin America. While the US and Japan are commercialised through best-in-class partners, Nycomed will further strengthen its position in key Asian markets. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, in 2008 the company generated total sales of c 3,4 billion and an adjusted EBITDA of c 1,2 billion. For more information visit www.nycomed.com. Nycomed in the Netherlands is located in Hoofddorp where it employs approximately 105 people. (website)

The Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) is an independent center for knowledge and expertise for international cooperation. The institute works on sustainable development, poverty reduction, improvement of health and cultural preservation. KIT has been working in developing countries for almost 100 years and is one of the oldest public-private partnerships in the Netherlands. KIT is increasingly active in the private sector. (website for KIT Biomedical Research)

University of Bern

VU University Amsterdam, with its excellent educational and research programs brings together talents from a wide range of disciplines and from many different countries. For VU University Amsterdam academic endeavor is more valuable when it makes a contribution to our world. For further information, visit www.vuamsterdam.com/home/index.cfm.

Within TI Pharma, consortia of industrial and academic research teams conduct groundbreaking, cross-disciplinary research projects that fit into the Priority Medicines program of the WHO. Each year, the Dutch government funds the top institute to the tune of 30 million euros. The pharmaceutical industry and academia each contribute an additional 15 million euros per year. TI Pharma is becoming an international leader in (bio)pharmaceutical research, training and education. TI Pharma’s fellows are trained in understanding the intricacies of the entire drug R&D process. For further information, visit www.tipharma.com.

 
 
23rd April 2008 - Uppsala, Sweden, and Cambridge, England

New Fragment-based Drug Discovery Platform announced between IOTA Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Cambridge (UK), and Beactica AB, Uppsala (Sweden)

Two leading companies in the area of fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) today announced a new commercial alliance. IOTA Pharmaceuticals Ltd, based in Cambridge, UK, and Beactica AB, based in Uppsala, Sweden, will join forces to deploy a proprietary FBDD-based lead discovery and optimization platform.

The IOTA-Beactica platform couples comprehensive, site-directed FBDD libraries to state-of-the-art fragment and lead screening using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor technology, enabling the rapid progression of new discovery programs from concept to optimized lead.

Based on rapid determination of ligand-target interaction information, and using a unique combination of fragment-based drug screening and medicinal chemistry-led design approaches, applicable to a wide range of new targets, the platform will initially focus on the development of new classes of kinase inhibitors. The reagents, tools and technologies developed by the two companies will be commercialized through drug discovery partnerships with pharmaceutical companies active in the kinase area.

Dr Per Källblad, CEO of Beactica, said, "We are delighted to work with IOTA to expand our existing drug discovery platform. The combination of IOTA's proprietary FBDD engine with Beactica's SPR screening technology will be an excellent way to pursue the discovery and optimization of new kinase inhibitors.“

Dr David Bailey, heading IOTA, commented, "Fragment-based drug discovery is a fast, efficient and productive route to NCE discovery. Our combined technologies offer a comprehensive lead discovery solution to our pharma partners.“

About IOTA
IOTA Pharmaceuticals provides FBDD-based molecular design, compound screening and lead discovery services to its partners in the pharmaceutical industry. For more information about IOTA, please visit www.iotapharma.com

About Beactica
Beactica is a specialist drug discovery company, utilizing its proprietary methodologies to evaluate the biophysical interaction of molecules in order to generate novel therapeutics. For more information about Beactica, please visit www.beactica.com

Contact
Dr David Bailey, CEO IOTA
david.bailey@iotapharma.com
 
 
21st December 2007
 
New Fragment-based Drug Discovery Libraries announced in a commercial collaboration between IOTA Pharmaceuticals Ltd (Cambridge, UK) and Vitas-M Laboratory (Moscow, Russia)

IOTA Pharmaceuticals Ltd, based in Cambridge, UK, and Vitas-M Laboratory Ltd, based in Moscow, Russia, have joined forces to design and market the next generation of fragment-based drug discovery libraries for early-stage drug discovery.

The IOTA Pharmaceuticals - Vitas-M Laboratory collaboration couples IOTA Pharmaceuticals analysis and screening platforms to Vitas-M Laboratory's established chemical synthesis capabilities, to produce a new 4,000-component fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) screening set. This fragment set is being distributed by both companies immediately.

Access to a diverse set of FBDD library compounds enables the rapid progression of new discovery programs from concept to optimised lead, as described in detail on the IOTA website.

Dr David Bailey, heading IOTA, commented "Fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) is a fast, efficient and productive route to NCE discovery. Our combined technologies offer an extensive and reasonably-priced lead discovery tool kit for our pharma and biotech customers."

Vitas-M Laboratory is a specialist organic chemistry company which synthesises drug compounds for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology screening markets. For more information about Vitas-M Laboratory, please visit www.vitasmlab.com .
 
 
21st December 2007
 
New Fragment-based Drug Discovery Libraries announced in a commercial collaboration between IOTA Pharmaceuticals Ltd (Cambridge, UK) and Vitas-M Laboratory (Moscow, Russia)

IOTA Pharmaceuticals Ltd, based in Cambridge, UK, and Vitas-M Laboratory Ltd, based in Moscow, Russia, have joined forces to design and market the next generation of fragment-based drug discovery libraries for early-stage drug discovery.

The IOTA Pharmaceuticals - Vitas-M Laboratory collaboration couples IOTA Pharmaceuticals analysis and screening platforms to Vitas-M Laboratory's established chemical synthesis capabilities, to produce a new 4,000-component fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) screening set. This fragment set is being distributed by both companies immediately.

Access to a diverse set of FBDD library compounds enables the rapid progression of new discovery programs from concept to optimised lead, as described in detail on the IOTA website.

Dr David Bailey, heading IOTA, commented "Fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) is a fast, efficient and productive route to NCE discovery. Our combined technologies offer an extensive and reasonably-priced lead discovery tool kit for our pharma and biotech customers."

Vitas-M Laboratory is a specialist organic chemistry company which synthesises drug compounds for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology screening markets. For more information about Vitas-M Laboratory, please visit www.vitasmlab.com .
 
 
25th September 2007
 
IOTA Pharmaceuticals, a new Fragment-based Drug Discovery company, established with research centres in Cambridge (UK), Amsterdam (The Netherlands) , and Ahmedabad (India).
 
Centered on fragment-based drug design, IOTA offers pharmaceutical clients a range of new tools and technologies for drug discovery and lead optimization. IOTA's founder investors are experienced pharmaceutical discovery scientists. Dr Paul England, head of IOTA's screening activities, led Smith-Kline's high-throughput screening operation and was one of the senior executives at the Californian biotechnology company Aurora Biosciences. Dr Sue Boyd, leading IOTA's computational chemistry, has worked in computational chemistry teams at Pfizer, Celltech and Scynexis. Dr Iwan de Esch, based at the VU University in Amsterdam, brings expertise in medicinal chemistry and structure- and fragment-based drug discovery.
 
These scientists are backed by an experienced commercial team, led by Dr David Bailey, who previously headed up Pfizer's Molecular Sciences Department in Sandwich, UK, and Incyte Pharmaceuticals' European HQ in Cambridge. David is supported by Sunil and Prashant Shah, co-founders of several Cambridge and Far East start-ups, including Oxygen Healthcare, a chemistry company based in Gujarat, India.
 
This experienced founding group is joined as an investor by the VU University, Amsterdam, a world-leading academic centre of excellence in the Health Sciences. Since its formation in the 1960s, research in the medicinal chemistry department at the VU has focused on the molecular aspects of pharmacology, drug design and chemical synthesis, developing state-of-the-art technologies to discover new chemical entities with potential in human healthcare.
 
 
25th September 2007
 
Fragment-based Drug Discovery Initiative announced between the VU University, Amsterdam and IOTA Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Cambridge, UK.
 
IOTA Pharmaceuticals today announced an alliance in the area of fragment-based drug discovery with The VU University, Amsterdam. The VU-IOTA collaboration couples fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) to commercially important pharmaceutical targets, thereby enabling the rapid progression of therapeutic targets into new discovery programs. Using the proprietary blend of organic, medicinal and computational chemistry available within the two groups, the collaboration will focus on the development of new drug classes across a range of commercially important therapeutic targets.
 
The VU University is a world-leading academic centre of excellence in medicinal chemistry. Established by Professors Wijbe Nauta and Henk Timmerman in the 1960's and led since 2000 by Professor Rob Leurs, the Department of Medicinal Chemistry focuses on the application of molecular pharmacology, computational design and chemical synthesis technologies to a range of therapeutically important targets, including the acetylcholine, histamine and chemokine receptors, joined more recently by the protein tyrosine kinases. The Design and Synthesis Group at VU, led by Dr Iwan de Esch, has developed a powerful FBDD platform, combining organic synthesis with structure-guided lead development. In 2006, the group joined forces with other VU scientists in the area of Drug Discovery to establish the VU Drug Discovery Center.
 
IOTA Pharmaceuticals has been established to provide molecular design, ligand screening and drug discovery services to the pharmaceutical industry. It combines cutting edge drug discovery technologies from European centres of excellence such as VU with cost-effective medicinal chemistry sourced from leading laboratories in India.
 
Dr Iwan de Esch, leader of the VU initiative, said "We are delighted to work with IOTA to expand our existing fragment-based drug discovery platform. This will be an excellent way to valorise our fundamental research in human health and disease."
 
Dr David Bailey, leading the FBDD initiative at IOTA, commented "The VU University in Amsterdam is a European centre of excellence in medicinal chemistry, and is at the forefront of technology development in the FBDD area. Together, we will develop a new generation of discovery tools, applying them to emerging therapeutic targets alongside pharmaceutical company collaborators."
 
 
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