Eisai, Selvita in Anticancer Deal
Eisai's U.S. Research Subsidiary H3 Biomedicine Enters Into Collaborative Agreement With Selvita to Create Novel Anticancer Agents
Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, President & CEO: Haruo Naito, “Eisai”) announced today that its U.S. research subsidiary H3 Biomedicine Inc. (Massachusetts, President & CEO: Markus Warmuth, “H3 Biomedicine”) has entered into a collaborative agreement with Selvita S.A. (Poland, CEO: Pawel Przewiezlikowski, “Selvita”), one of the largest drug discovery companies in Eastern Europe, to create novel anticancer agents. Under the collaboration, both companies will seek to create novel anticancer agents through identification and validation of several kinases as therapeutic targets for cancers with specific genetic characteristics.
Recent advances in human cancer genomics have revealed promising drug creation targets that are leading to novel concepts in cancer treatment. H3 Biomedicine seeks to identify genes that are the root causes of cancer and to develop medicines that demonstrate high efficacy in treating specific cancers that possess those genetic features. H3 Biomedicine maintains a set of unique tools and research engines in bioinformatics, which analyzes the immense amount of data collected in cancer genomics, and target validation, which seeks to define new drug targets. H3 Biomedicine's collaborator in this agreement, Selvita, started its first kinase discovery programs in 2008 and today has built one of the world's most robust kinase discovery platforms. Together, the joint research conducted under this agreement will complement the technological bases of both companies and accelerate validation of the importance and druggability of kinase targets to create new drugs based on cancer genomics and discovery research against those targets.
Through the validation of drug targets based on human cancer genomics information and achievement of proof of concept (POC) for the targets in preclinical and clinical research, H3 Biomedicine seeks to deliver on the creation of breakthrough medicines. Eisai shares this ambitious drug discovery vision upheld by H3 Biomedicine and will continue to make contributions by delivering highly efficacious, innovative treatments to patients living with cancer worldwide.
[ Please refer to the following notes for further information on Selvita S.A. and H3 Biomedicine. ]
Public Relations Department,
Eisai Co., Ltd.
[ Notes to editors ]
1. About Selvita S.A.
Selvita is a Polish biotechnology company engaged in the discovery and development of breakthrough medicines to treat oncology, CNS and autoimmune disorders, as well as provision of drug discovery services. It was established in 2007 and currently employs 162 people, including 53 PhDs. Selvita has currently several internal projects at early or late discovery stage and is expected to move its first candidates to the clinic in 2014. The most advanced programs at Selvita are SEL24, a pre-clinical Pim kinase inhibitor, with multiple indications in hematopoietic tumors and SEL120, first-in-class small molecule inhibitor of cyclin dependent kinase CDK8. Other innovative projects currently in development include SEL141, an early stage discovery program of DYRK1A kinase inhibitors with therapeutic potential in the treatment targeting Alzheimer's disease and Down syndrome, SEL201 – novel small molecule MNK1/2 inhibitors in oncology, cancer metabolism platform and inflammasome platform. Drug discovery clients of Selvita include more than fifty large and medium-sized pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies from USA and Europe. Selvita is listed on the NewConnect market of the Warsaw Stock Exchange in Poland (SLV). Additional information about Selvita can be found on http://www.selvita.com/.
2. About H3 Biomedicine Inc.
H3 Biomedicine Inc. is a biopharmaceutical research subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd. and specializes in the discovery and development of cancer drugs to facilitate personalized medicine. The company seeks to develop therapies for drug targets that are expected to be highly efficacious in the treatment of certain cancers based on genetic information that defines root cause.
1) Corporate Profile
Company Name: H3 Biomedicine Inc.
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
President and CEO: Markus Warmuth, M.D.
Scope of Business: Research and development of pharmaceutical products
Number of Employees: Approximately 70
Date of Establishment: December 13, 2010
2) Overview of H3 Biomedicine Drug Discovery Strategy
H3 Biomedicine's approach to drug discovery is based on two principles. The first principle is the identification of genetic candidates that define the root cause of the cancer by honing in on the genetics of patients' cancer and leveraging bioinformatics technology. After validating the function of the identified gene, target molecules for cancer treatment are selected and optimal assays are developed. The second principle involves the persistent pursuit of the correct target molecules even though they are considered challenging or “undruggable” using traditional drug discovery approaches. To achieve this end, H3 Biomedicine will utilize a next-generation synthesis technique known as Diversity-Oriented Synthesis (a synthesis technique that uses a natural substance as a structural motif to systematically and simply create a skeletally-diverse set of small molecules) to strike a balance between structural complexity and ease of synthesis as it seeks to create a unique library of skeletally and stereo-chemically diverse compounds. Furthermore, by prospectively using cancer patient genetics to swiftly and effectively conduct biomarker research and facilitate personalized medicine, H3 Biomedicine aims to shorten drug development time as it seeks to ensure the early delivery of innovative new drugs to patients battling cancer.
Posted: September 2013