Strasbourg, France, and Montreal, Canada, September 27, 2016 – Domain Therapeutics, a France – and Quebec – based biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the research and development of new drug candidates that target G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), announces today the signing of a second licensing and partnership agreement on GPCR biosensor technology with Université de Montréal (UdeM) and its commercialization unit, the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer – Commercialization of Research (IRICoR), as well as with McGill University (McGill). The first licencing agreement was signed at the end of 2013.
The novel GPCR biosensor technology was developed by a team of researchers from UdeM’s Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) led by Pr. Michel Bouvier, and from McGill, led by Pr. Stéphane Laporte. Drs. Bouvier and Laporte are internationally renowned for their work on GPCRs.
The agreement gives Domain Therapeutics exclusive access to a new set of more powerful biosensors developed by Drs. Bouvier and Laporte.
This new approach, based on the existing BioSens-All™ technology which was initially licensed from UdeM and McGill, makes it possible to assess more intracellular signalling pathways and to discriminate more accurately the functional activation associated with specific GPCRs, which will accelerate the discovery and development of biased ligands for this class of receptors.
With this novel generation of biosensors, Domain Therapeutics North America Inc., the Canadian affiliate of Domain Therapeutics, will complete its unique service offering in profiling drug candidates for the pharma and biotech industries. Domain Therapeutics also leverages a screening platform called DTect-All™, designed to discover allosteric modulator drugs that target GPCRs. By combining the two technologies, Domain Therapeutics can discover and optimize more effective and safer therapeutic candidates for its internal programs and for collaborative programs with industry partners.
“We are very proud of our long-standing relationship with Drs. Bouvier and Laporte, which has directly led to this second license between our organizations,” said Pascal Neuville, Chief Executive Officer of Domain Therapeutics. “Exclusive access to this unique technology further strengthens Domain’s leading position in the field of GPCR-based drug discovery and drug profiling.”
“We are very pleased to extend our existing and very productive partnership with Domain Therapeutics, which resulted in the creation of Domain Therapeutics North America,” said Nadine Beauger, IRICoR’s Chief Executive Officer. “It is our obvious partner for further promising development of this novel technology.”
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. No other financial details have been disclosed.
“The innovative research developed by Michel Bouvier, an internationally-recognized expert in basic molecular pharmacology demonstrates the translational value of the work being carried out at IRIC with the support of IRICoR,” said Dr. Marie-Josée Hebert, Vice-Rector of Research, Development, Creation and Innovation at UdeM.
“McGill University has a long history of innovation and product development in numerous fields, especially the life sciences,” said Dr. Rose Goldstein, McGill’s Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation). “We very much look forward to continuing this tradition through our partnership with Domain Therapeutics and Université de Montréal – a collaboration that has the potential to create new and better treatments for patients.”
About G protein-coupled receptors and biosensor technology
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) belong to the family of membrane receptors and constitute one of the main classes of therapeutic targets for many indications of the central nervous system, metabolic disorders and cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary or gastrointestinal diseases. The binding of a hormone or a specific ligand to a receptor’s binding site activates one or several pathways for intracellular signalling, which enables the cell to provide an adapted response to the change in its environment. The many drugs that target GPCRs represent about 40% of all treatments on the market, but only address 15% of GPCRs. Industry scientists in the sector are now researching treatments that work on the remaining 85% of GPCRs, treatments better adapted to patients’ physiology and with fewer risks of side effects. The molecules in question are called allosteric modulators and biased ligands. BioSens-All™ technology allows the understanding of signalling pathways activated by each candidate molecule and thus predicting its pharmacological profile.
This approach makes it possible to choose at a very early development stage the molecule(s) that have the best chance of being active without presenting side effects or inducing tolerance to treatment.
About Domain Therapeutics
Domain Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company based in Strasbourg, France, dedicated to the discovery and early development of small molecules targeting G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), one of the most important classes of drug targets. Domain Therapeutics identifies and develops new drug candidates, allosteric modulators and biased ligands through its innovative approach and distinctive technologies. The company provides access to its technologies through research and collaborative agreements and develops its own pipeline up to the stage of clinical candidate for major indications in central nervous system and oncology.
For more information : www.domaintherapeutics.com
About the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC)
An ultra-modern research hub and training centre located in the heart of Université de Montréal, the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) was created in 2003 to shed light on the mechanisms of cancer and discover new, more effective therapies to counter this plague. IRIC operates according to a model that is unique in Canada. Its innovative approach to research has already led to discoveries that will, over the coming years, have a significant impact on the fight against cancer.
For more information : www.iric.ca
About the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer – Commercialization of Research (IRICoR)
IRICoR, a not-for-profit organization based at IRIC, is Université de Montréal’s drug discovery and valorization unit whose mandate is to accelerate the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapies in cancer, immunotherapy and related fields. IRICoR invests in and supports highly innovative projects to rapidly transition basic research discoveries into innovations geared towards the market, through either partnerships with industry or company creation.
For more information : www.iricor.ca
About Université de Montréal (UdeM)
Deeply rooted in Montreal and dedicated to its international mission, Université de Montréal ranks among the top universities in the world, particularly in the French-speaking world. Founded in 1878, Université de Montréal today has 16 faculties and together with its two affiliated schools, HEC Montréal and École Polytechnique, constitutes the largest centre of higher education and research in Quebec and one of the major centres in North America. It brings together 2,600 professors and researchers, and more than 65,000 students.
For more information : www.umontreal.ca
About McGill University
Founded in Montreal, Quebec, in 1821, McGill is a leading Canadian post-secondary institution. It has two campuses, 11 faculties, 11 professional schools, 300 programs of study and some 39,000 students, including more than 9,300 graduate students. McGill attracts students from over 150 countries around the world, its 8,200 international students making up 21 per cent of the student body.
For more information : www.mcgill.ca