SAN DIEGO, November 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -‐-‐ Abide Therapeutics announced today that the Company has entered into a collaborative agreement with the University of Oxford and the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust to explore the therapeutic potential of serine hydrolases, one of the largest enzyme classes with validated but under explored class of drug targets.
Under the three-‐year agreement, Abide and Oxford will explore the role of monoacylglycerol lipase (MGLL) inhibitors in altering endocannabinoid tone in the human brain. The collaboration will combine the unique domain experience and capabilities at Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB), under the directorship of Professor Irene Tracey with Abide’s unique chemoproteomics platform. The goals of the collaboration are to explore MGLL in a number of clinical indications to determine proof of biology in man and additionally to discover novel serine hydrolase targets utilizing samples from patients with inflammatory conditions in collaboration with Professors Alison Simmons and Peter Taylor.
“This collaborative agreement is a true delight as it extends the founding vision of Abide which is to partner with enlightened academic investigators that have unique insights into how best to test novel therapies at the earliest stages of clinical development,” said Alan Ezekowitz, MBChB, D.Phil, President and CEO of Abide Therapeutics. “Furthermore, the institutional component of the agreement is only possible because of great execution of Sir John Bell’s vision establishing Oxford as one the foremost academic centers in the world for translational science.”
“As we make new discoveries in human physiology and disease, we also need robust technologies that can rapidly and effectively identify and validate drug targets to explore the full therapeutic potential of an area of biology,” said Sir John I Bell, FRS, FMedSci. “This collaboration with Abide is part of our commitment to translate research discoveries into the clinic to develop new medicines to improve survival and quality of life for patients around the world.”
The agreement has a three-‐year term, and Abide will provide support for at least three Phase 1B studies as well as for directed new target discovery efforts. The collaboration has been supported through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), a partnership that brings together the research expertise of the University of Oxford and the clinical skills of staff of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust with the aim of supporting translational research and innovation to improve healthcare for patients.
Keith Channon, Director of the NIHR Oxford BRC, said, “This exciting collaboration with Abide Therapeutics builds on the considerable investment by the Oxford BRC in experimental medicine and supporting the development of new drugs, for the benefit of patients.”
About Serine Hydrolases
The large family of serine hydrolases are validated but largely underexplored as drug targets. These enzymes play a key regulatory role in human physiological processes, such as regulating CNS signaling, digestion, metabolism, inflammation, blood clotting, and life cycle of viruses and pathogens. Thus, the ability to target serine hydrolases has broad therapeutic applications. The proprietary Abide technology platform provides a unique highly selective small molecule collection that specifically targets the common catalytic site of serine hydrolases. The technology provides a rapid and effective method for target identification and validation.
About Abide Therapeutics
Abide Therapeutics is focused on developing innovative medicines that target serine hydrolases, one of the largest enzyme classes in nature with validated but mostly untapped therapeutic potential. Serine hydrolases play important regulatory roles in human physiology and disease. Abide has created a proprietary platform, based on technology developed at The Scripps Research Institute by Professors Ben Cravatt and Dale Boger, that specifically targets serine hydrolases with selective small molecules. The ability to target and modulate serine hydrolases has potential to develop new medicines in many therapeutic areas. Abide is located in San Diego. To learn more, visit www.abidetx.com.