Science and Technology
March 30, 2016

X-Chem Announces License with Janssen for Protein:Protein Inhibitor Program in Inflammatory Disease

 

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X-Chem Announces License with Janssen for Protein:Protein Inhibitor
Program in Inflammatory Disease

Company’s DNA-encoded small molecule screening platform highly effective for
identification of viable compounds for challenging targets

WALTHAM, Mass. – March 30, 2016 – X-Chem, Inc. (X-Chem), a privately held
biotechnology company applying its innovative DNA-Encoded X-Chem (DEX™)
drug discovery platform to generate novel therapeutics, today announced that a
licensing option with Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical
Companies of Johnson & Johnson, has been exercised for a protein inhibitor
program of inflammatory disease. The licensed program comprises cell-active,
potent small molecules that inhibit a difficult-to-drug protein ligand-receptor
interaction. Janssen exercised its license option under an agreement to discover
new treatments for inflammatory disease established by the companies in
December 2014. The licensing event triggers a milestone payment under the
collaboration agreement; X-Chem is eligible to receive future payments linked to
the achievement of defined milestones, as well as royalties.

Under the 2014 agreement, facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, the two
companies have focused on the discovery and development of candidate
molecules for the treatment of inflammatory diseases leveraging the application
of X-Chem’s proprietary discovery engine, powered by a unique high diversity
DNA-encoded small molecule library, to identify novel compounds targeting
proteins involved in the inflammatory response.

“Our goal has been to leverage the target expertise of Janssen and put the
power of our libraries and platform to work,” said Rick Wagner, Ph.D., Chief
Executive Officer of X-Chem. “The quality of the molecules that emerged from
this campaign underscores our vision – to discover potent molecules from the
initial library screen, even using difficult-to-drug targets such as those involved in
protein:protein interactions.”

About the DNA-Encoded X-Chem (DEX™) Library and Platform

Due to the size and diversity of the DEX library, X-Chem can discover multiple
series of novel, potent and selective lead compounds at an unprecedented rate
of success against a wide range of targets, including some that previously failed
using conventional screening methods. A number of proprietary innovations in
library design, screening methodology and bioinformatics underlie the
exceptional performance of the DEX platform. In particular, X-Chem’s approach
to library construction allows for additional chemical reactions to become useable
in DNA-encoded library synthesis. Together, these developments result in a
much greater repertoire of diversity for small molecules, which cover a range of
categories including fragment molecules, small molecular weight heterocyclic
compounds, and macrocyclic structures. This diverse library, combined with a
heightened ability to detect active molecules, has yielded a robust process that
has been highly successful against targets categorized as difficult or intractable.

About DNA-Encoding

The X-Chem drug discovery engine is based on a library generated by iterative
combinatorial synthesis of small molecules tethered to DNA tags that record the
synthetic history of the small molecule. Every small molecule in the library has a
unique DNA barcode attached it. The library is screened as a mixture using
affinity-based binding to a target of interest. Certain rare molecules in the library
that bind to the target can be “fished out,” while the rest of the molecules wash
away. DNA sequencing methods are then used to detect molecules that are
enriched when bound to the target. The diverse nature of the library produces
multiple families or clusters of related molecules that bind to the target, forming a
basis for emergent structure-activity relationships. Structure-activity relationships
are typically used by medicinal chemists to guide iterative chemical maturation of
a molecule into a drug. Based on the synthetic history encoded in the DNA
sequence information, molecules are then made without the DNA tag attached,
and tested for activity in conventional assays.

About X-Chem

X-Chem, Inc. is a privately-owned biotechnology company based in Waltham,
Mass. The company’s mission is to apply its powerful product engine to the
discovery of small molecule compounds against high-value therapeutic targets.
X-Chem has established partnerships with Roche, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Pfizer,
Alexion, MD Anderson Cancer Center and several other leading pharmaceutical
companies, biotechnology organizations, and academic centers. For further
information on X-Chem, please visit: http://www.x-chemrx.com/.

For additional information contact:

X-Chem, Inc.
Steffen Helmling PhD Maureen L. Suda (Media)
Vice President of Business Development Suda Communications LLC