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GENEFORMATICS/DE NOVO FORM DRUG DISCOVERY COLLABORATION.

GeneFormatics Inc., San Diego, Calif., and De Novo Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, U.K., have formed a collaborative drug discovery program to elucidate inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases, specifically the M10 family.

Matrix metalloproteinases are a family of naturally occurring enzymes involved in tissue growth and wound repair. Overproduction causes a number of disease states, including cancer and inflammatory disorders.

Under the terms of the agreement, GeneFormatics will utilize its proteomics technologies to identify all members of the M10 family of matrix metalloproteinases in the human proteome and characterize the structure and chemistry of active sites. De Novo Pharmaceuticals will utilize its extended pharmacophore, QUASI II(TM), technologies to identify site points on the protein, run docking models and virtual screens of small molecules against the proteins. The goal of the collaboration is to identify small molecules that inhibit known and/or novel members of this family of matrix metalloproteinases. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"We are pleased to be entering into our second drug discovery collaboration within the past month," commented John Chiplin, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of GeneFormatics. "Our computational and experimental proteomics technologies coupled with De Novo Pharmaceuticals' powerful drug design algorithms, extends our capabilities by linking structure and function information to drug activity. This partnership will speed the process of drug discovery through the use of a parallel, focused family approach."

"GeneFormatics' expertise in structural proteomics allied with our proprietary technologies in small molecule drug design will allow us to create a unique integrated approach to drug discovery," said Philip Dean, Ph.D, founder and chief scientific officer of De Novo Pharmaceuticals. "With this strategy we will be able to fully study the interactions between new protein targets and small molecules, providing valuable information necessary for the production of novel inhibitors to this important class of proteins."

About De Novo Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

De Novo Pharmaceuticals is a fully integrated design based drug discovery company, located in Cambridge, and uses its proprietary computational software for drug design to create novel, patentable lead molecules as candidates for drug development against both enzyme and receptor based targets. De Novo Pharmaceuticals proprietary algorithms can convert ligand information or protein structure information in combination with medicinal chemistry rapidly into new chemical designs, maximizing value within a pharmaceutical partner's research portfolio. In addition, De Novo Pharmaceuticals applies its leading in silico drug discovery capabilities to its own in-house research programs, generating high value lead candidates available for licensing.

For more information, visit http://www.denovopharma.com.

About GeneFormatics Inc.

GeneFormatics Inc. is a drug discovery company whose DIAMOND(TM) (Diverse Integrated Automated Methods of Novel Discovery(TM)) technologies integrate structural and chemoproteomics. The company rapidly and systematically analyzes entire genomes at the functional level to discover potential protein targets and potential leads that are selective for those targets. This "functional family" approach allows GeneFormatics to focus on designing-in specificity and designing-out cross-reactivity of drug candidates. This highly integrated approach has produced more than 6,000 novel discoveries on human proteins, which allows the company and its partners to identify highly specific leads for selected target families on an unprecedented scale.

For more information, visit http://www.geneformatics.com or call 858/882-5962.
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Publication:Worldwide Biotech
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 1, 2002
Words:533
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