News | March 13, 2018

X‑Chem Announces Licensing of Two Discovery Programs to AbbVie

– License grants AbbVie exclusive rights to small molecule programs in oncology and immunology discovered using X-Chem’s DEX™ platform –

WALTHAM, Mass. – March 13, 2018 – Small molecule drug discovery specialist XChem, Inc. today announced that AbbVie has exercised options to license two discovery programs. Under the terms of the parties’ 2016 multi-target research collaboration, AbbVie had an option to an exclusive license to the programs, each of which comprises multiple novel, cell-active modulators of two historically challenging targets in oncology and immunology.

“Our goal in this collaboration was to leverage the target expertise of AbbVie and the power of X-Chem’s libraries and DEX platform,” said Rick Wagner, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of X-Chem. “The results demonstrate that even the most challenging targets can be tackled with small molecule approaches when the right expertise comes together.”

About X-Chem’s DNA-Encoded (DEX™) Libraries and Platform
X-Chem’s DEX drug discovery engine is based on a collection of DNA-encoded libraries comprising over 120 billion unique small molecules derived from iterative combinatorial chemistry processes, where the identity of each compound is recorded in a linked DNA barcode. The pooled libraries are used in low volume, affinity-based screening against biological targets, whereby ligands are ‘fished out’ and identified via DNA sequencing. Innovations in library design, screening methodologies, and bioinformatics underlie the exceptional performance of the DEX platform. The use of previously inaccessible chemical reactions and atom-efficient synthesis schemes generate maximal diversity and rule-of-five compliance. Parallel screens, either varying target concentration or including off-targets, mutants or known ligand competitors, allow for insight into the potency, mechanism of action, and specificity of putative hits. Proprietary statistical and bioinformatics tools identify multiple clusters of related molecules with emergent structure-activity relationships. These innovations underpin X-Chem’s success against difficult and intractable targets that have failed in conventional screening, and have generated over 100 fragment, low molecular weight heterocycle, macrocycle, and irreversible covalent electrophilic lead series that have been licensed by X-Chem’s partners.
About X-Chem
X-Chem, Inc. is a privately owned biotechnology company based in Waltham, Massachusetts. The company’s mission is to apply its powerful product engine to the discovery of small molecule leads against high-value therapeutic targets. X-Chem has established partnerships with AbbVie, Alexion, Astellas, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Gilead, Janssen, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Ono, Otsuka, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi, Taiho,
Vertex, and several other leading pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology organizations, and academic centers. For further information on X-Chem, please visit:

For additional information contact:
X-Chem, Inc.
Steffen Helmling, Ph.D.
Vice President, Business Development

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