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Otsuka will use PhoreMost’s phenotypic screening platform to identify new targets for drug development, with a focus on gene therapy.
On January 21, 2020, Otsuka Pharmaceutical and PhoreMost, a Cambridge, UK-based biopharmaceutical company, entered into a multi-project drug discovery collaboration that will pursue both small molecule therapeutics as well as gene therapy applications.
PhoreMost will contribute its in-house expertise and phenotypic screening platform, Siteseeker, to evaluate disease-relevant pathways nominated by Otsuka, which will further characterize and validate novel targets that have been identified. The partners will initially focus on gene therapy applications, according to a company press release.
PhoreMost’s platform, which is based on Proteini, a proprietary protein interference technology, exploits protein shape diversity to find functionally active peptides. This approach can significantly enhance the power of phenotypic screening and translation into therapeutic modalities, company executives claim. PhoreMost uses Siteseeker to probe the entire proteome in a live cell environment to identify novel druggable targets linked to any chosen disease. This enables the systematic discovery of the functionally active peptides that are directly linked to useful therapeutic applications, according to PhoreMost.