Curve announces drug discovery collaboration with MSD

17-Feb-2022

Curve will perform high throughput mammalian cell-based functional screening, hit characterisation, data-mining and analysis, and optimisation

Biotech company Curve Therapeutics has announced a global research collaboration with MSD, (Merck & Co., USA) to discover and validate modulators of up to five therapeutic targets using its Microcycle technology, initially for oncology and neurology indications.

Curve will receive an upfront payment, and will be eligible to receive research, development and commercial milestones totalling up to $1.7bn should all five programmes succeed.

Under the agreement, Curve will perform high throughput mammalian cell-based functional screening, hit characterisation, data-mining and analysis, and optimisation. MSD will be responsible for lead optimisation, clinical development, manufacturing and commercialisation of compounds identified through the collaboration.

Simon Kerry, PhD, MBA, CEO of Curve, said: “This collaboration is a major milestone for Curve and an important endorsement of our ground-breaking drug discovery platform. Working with MSD on selected therapeutic targets will complement Curve’s in-house drug discovery and development programmes.”

Curve claims its platform enables the discovery of biologically active molecules against targets that have been difficult to address using conventional drug discovery methods.

Prof Ali Tavassoli, Chief Scientific Officer of Curve, said: “Screening a genetically encoded Microcycle library against proteins in their native intracellular state is unique in drug discovery and Curve’s platform creates an unprecedented opportunity to discover functional hits that are readily converted to small-molecule leads against the most challenging targets in drug discovery.”

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Rob Garbaccio, VP Discovery Chemistry MSD Research Laboratories said: “At MSD we are committed to bringing forward medicines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. We look forward to collaborating with the scientists at Curve to evaluate new ways to treat complex diseases.”

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