X-Chem, a privately held biotechnology company applying its DNA-Encoded X-Chem (DEX™) drug discovery platform to generate novel therapeutics, has announced that a licensing option with Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, has been exercised for a protein inhibitor program of inflammatory disease. The licensed program comprises cell-active, potent small molecules that inhibit a difficult-to-drug protein ligand-receptor interaction. Janssen exercised its license option under an agreement to discover new treatments for inflammatory disease established by the companies in December 2014. The licensing event triggers a milestone payment under the collaboration agreement; X-Chem is eligible to receive future payments linked to the achievement of defined milestones, as well as royalties.
Under the 2014 agreement, facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, the two companies have focused on the discovery and development of candidate molecules for the treatment of inflammatory diseases leveraging the application of X-Chem’s proprietary discovery engine, powered by a unique high diversity DNA-encoded small molecule library, to identify novel compounds targeting proteins involved in the inflammatory response.
“Our goal has been to leverage the target expertise of Janssen and put the power of our libraries and platform to work,” said Rick Wagner, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of X-Chem. “The quality of the molecules that emerged from this campaign underscores our vision – to discover potent molecules from the initial library screen, even using difficult-to-drug targets such as those involved in protein:protein interactions.”