Codexis, Inc. has announced it has licensed important intellectual property from the California Institute of Technology for preparing and identifying drug metabolites (substances produced during drug metabolism). Codexis will incorporate this technology in development of new R&D productivity tools for use by the pharmaceutical industry.
This technology is based on development of a family of diverse variants of bacterial cytochrome P450 enzymes by Frances Arnold, Ph.D., Dick and Barbara Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry, Cal Tech. Dr. Arnold will join the Codexis Industrial Advisory Board.
"This enzyme family can facilitate identification of safer, more efficacious drugs earlier in the drug development process by expediting the production of potential human metabolites of drug candidates," said Peter Seufer-Wasserthal, Ph.D., Vice President and General Manager, Codexis Pharma Services Group.
"Additionally, this technology can be used for lead diversification and complements the human cytochrome biocatalyst products and services at BioCatalytics, acquired by Codexis in July," Seufer-Wasserthal continued.
Drug metabolites are produced by the body during the break-down (metabolism) of drugs. Primary metabolites are largely formed in the liver by human P450 enzymes to aid in elimination of a drug from the body.
In some cases, metabolites can be toxic, while for other drugs, active metabolites have shown improved efficacy and lower toxicity than the administered drug substance. The US Food and Drug Administration now recommends metabolic characterization for all new investigational human therapeutics.