Domain Therapeutics, Universite de Montreal, IRICoR and McGill University Sign Agreement
News Dec 26, 2013
Domain Therapeutics has announced the signing of a licensing and partnership agreement on GPCR biosensor technology with the Universite de Montreal (UdeM) and its commercialization unit, the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer -Commercialization of Research (IRICoR), and McGill University.
The GPCR biosensor technology was developed with the support of a grant from the Quebec Consortium for Drug Discovery (CQDM), whose mission is to fund breakthrough technologies with the financial support of major pharma companies. This project was overseen by a team of researchers from UdeM’s Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) led by Dr. Michel Bouvier. Dr. Bouvier is internationally renowned for his work on GPCRs.
The agreement gives Domain Therapeutics co-exclusive access, with AstraZeneca, Merck and Pfizer participating via the CQDM, to biosensor technology developed by Dr. Bouvier’s team. This new approach, which makes it possible to discriminate the functional activation of intracellular signalling pathways associated with GPCRs, is considered a prime technology for accelerating the discovery and development of biased ligands for this class of receptors.
In addition, Domain Therapeutics will offer a unique service in profiling drug candidates for the pharma and biotech industries. Domain Therapeutics also leverages a screening platform called DTect-All™, designed to discover innovative drugs that target GPCRs. By combining the two technologies, Domain Therapeutics can discover and optimize more effective non-toxic therapeutic candidates for its internal programs and for collaborative programs with industry partners.
The biosensor technology already covers more than twenty signaling pathways and, under the terms of the agreement, a partnership will also be set up for the joint development of additional biosensors. IRIC researchers and their colleagues from UdeM, McGill University and Universite de Sherbrooke will contribute their research expertise in molecular pharmacology.
“This technology, which is unique in the world, strengthens our capacity to discover the drugs of tomorrow, which will be more effective and safer,” said Pascal Neuville, chief executive officer of Domain Therapeutics. “The scientific quality of Dr. Michel Bouvier’s lab and his international reputation offer our company tremendous expertise in the future use of this technology.”
“The combination of our innovative approaches leading to a joint project that brings together our complementary expertise is extremely good news. Improving the efficacy of existing drugs and developing new drugs require establishing innovative partnerships like this one with Domain Therapeutics,” said Michel Bouvier, principal investigator at IRIC and CEO of IRICoR.
Under the terms of the agreement with the UdeM, Domain Therapeutics will make an upfront payment on signing. The company will also pay an annual access fee for the technology, as well as royalties on income earned from sales of screening services and sales of drugs resulting from its own research and partnership activities. Domain Therapeutics will also provide financial support for the discovery of new biosensors.
“We welcome this highly promising partnership to develop the drugs of tomorrow between Domain Therapeutics and a seasoned team from our university, led by Michel Bouvier, an international expert in basic molecular pharmacology research and an innovative mind,” said Genevieve Tanguay, vice-rector of Research, Creation and Innovation at the Universite de Montreal.
“McGill University has a proud history of innovation and product development in numerous fields, especially the life sciences”, said Dr. Rose Goldstein, McGill’s vice-principal (Research and International Relations). “We very much look forward to continuing this tradition through our partnership with Domain Therapeutics and the Universite de Montreal – a collaboration that has the potential to create new and better treatments for patients.”