Since 2007, Proteros has supported discovery programmes for UCB in the area of immunology, by solving complex unpublished protein structures to give UCB scientists insight on how to optimise promising novel compounds. The collaboration has now expanded to include extra programmes/ targets and additionally includes CNS discovery research.
Dr. Neil Weir, Senior Vice President of Discovery, UCB, and Chair of the Innovation Board of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, remarked, "Collaboration is the foundation of UCB's strategy and we believe advances towards new therapies can be accelerated by combining our expertise in discovery science with a wide network. Proteros have specialist skills in constructing and validating protein structures that complements our work and they have demonstrated their commitment and expertise by achieving the demanding project objectives required by UCB. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Proteros."
As the drive for increased productivity within the pharmaceutical industry continues, technologies that can improve the success rates in the lead discovery and optimisation process remain a key focus. Over several years, protein crystallography has shown itself as one of these technologies. It is important as it allows scientists to directly visualize the three-dimensional structures and interactions of proteins, including enzymes, receptors and hormones. Being able to 'see' pharmacological interactions at the molecular level provides knowledge that enables structure-based drug design. Taking advantage of structural information and applying it in structure-based approaches to making new medicines promises to reduce the time and cost required to produce a medicine and deliver medicines that are more selective, potentially with fewer undesirable side effects.
Dr. Torsten Neuefeind, Proteros' Chief Executive Officer, commented, "It is a measure of the success and value of the work Proteros has performed over the last 4 years that UCB have chosen to expand the collaboration to include additional; high value targets. We look forward to continuing to contribute to UCB's success in the discovery of new medicines."
The research alliance between Proteros and UCB adds to UCB's open innovation model that aims to generate new knowledge and capitalize on external scientific advances, resources and expertise through dedicated collaborations that complement the company's unique internal capabilities and expertise.