Drug developer Conformetrix has signed a two-year research deal with AstraZeneca under which its NMR-based technology will be applied across AstraZeneca's pre-clinical pipeline to identify those drugs with the most potential.
Conformetrix, a spin-out from Manchester University in the UK, has developed a technology that determines accurate three-dimensional structures of drug molecules in their bioactive states.
The technology will also be used to determine the bioactive conformations of naturally occurring ligands as templates for drug library enhancement and hit identification.
Under the agreement, Conformetrix will receive an undisclosed upfront payment, as well as research funding. The firm will also be eligible for milestones as certain targets are met.
A joint Conformetrix-AstraZeneca research team will manage the development programme.
Conformetrix's ceo Dr Sam Williams said: ‘We believe that this deal provides important validation of our technology, which improves the quality and efficiency of drug discovery, reducing the number of molecules needed to find a drug and enhancing the likelihood of clinical success.’
Mike Snowden, vice president and head of Discovery Sciences at AstraZeneca, added: ‘We are excited to be working with Conformetrix. We believe their technology will provide a powerful addition to our hit identification and lead optimisation approaches, supporting our strategic objectives to improve the quality and choice of candidate compounds for our early pipeline.’