Expansion of APEIRON Biologics and Domainex Partnership will Advance Cancer Drug Discovery

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The expansion of the companies’ partnership will integrate lead optimization efforts to advance cancer immune therapy drug discovery.

In selecting Domainex, a UK-based biotechnology company specializing in integrated medicines research, to provide integrated lead optimization services, APEIRON Biologics, a privately held Austrian biotech company focused on cancer and respiratory therapies, will be able to advance the development of inhibitors for the E3 ubiquitin ligase Cbl-b using small-molecule drug discovery.

Under this agreement, Domainex will provide its expertise in medicinal and computational chemistry, screening, structural biology, and absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and pharmacokinetics (ADME/PK) to advance APEIRON’s Cbl-b targeting compound series, APN431, towards pre-clinical development.

To date, Domainex has provided APEIRON with its expertise in hit identification, both fragment-based and virtual screening, by establishing and deploying a suite of biophysical assays against variants of the E3 ligase Cbl-b and other members of this target class. These assays allowed the companies to determine the binding affinity, mechanism, and selectivity of promising compounds.

With the expanded deal, the partnership will progress into the next stage, under which Domainex will provide lead optimization services.


“We are delighted to move into this new phase of our partnership with APEIRON Biologics to support the discovery and development of new medicines to treat cancer. Our multi-disciplinary team of scientists has been successful at generating multiple compound series with promising properties. Their commitment through seven-day a week operations and implementation of shift-patterns has enabled us to continue to progress client-sponsored projects throughout the COVID-19 pandemic whilst maintaining social distancing at our state-of the art Medicines Research Centre. We look forward to continuing our journey of discovery with APEIRON,” said Dr. Tom Mander, CEO of Domainex, in a Nov. 9, 2020 company press release.

“Finding the right research partner for the development of our highly innovative immune-oncology therapeutics is essential for fast, efficient, and ultimately successful results. We are delighted to expand our partnership with Domainex for our Cbl-b targeted APN431 project and help us to quickly move to the next stage of its development. Domainex provides deep know-how in state-of-the-art structure based medicinal chemistry and assay development to help us achieve our ambitious goals. With our small-molecule program, APN431, we have an additional approach to target Cbl-b, next to our autologous cell therapy program, APN401, which is currently in clinical Phase I development,” said Peter Llewellyn-Davies, CEO of APEIRON Biologics, in the press release.

Source: APEIRON Biologics