Phylogica signs deal with UK biotech to identify and develop cancer drugs

Takes a 7.5% stake in PhoreMost, based in Cambridge

Phylogica has signed a licensing agreement with PhoreMost, a private biotechnology company based in Cambridge, UK.

The Australian peptide drug discovery company, based in Perth, has granted Phoremost a worldwide non-exclusive licence to use some of its Phylomer libraries for phenotypic screening to identify novel targets involved in diseases such as cancer, and then to identify and develop small molecule drugs against those targets.

The licence includes certain conditions that cap the number of similar phenotypic deals Phylogica may enter into during an 18-month option period.

Under the terms of the deal, Phylogica will take a 7.5% stake in Phoremost plus non-exclusive rights to commercialise any Phylomer peptides and associated disease targets that are identified by PhoreMost for peptide therapeutics.

Phylogica will retain all commercial rights to exploit any Phylomer peptides identified in the screens for therapeutic purposes.

No specific financial details have been revealed.

Dr Richard Hopkins, CEO of Phylogica, said the PhoreMost agreement 'formalises our long-standing collaboration with Professor Venkitaraman’s team at the University of Cambridge who are co-founders of PhoreMost and who are world leaders in cutting-edge phenotypic screening approaches to identify novel disease targets involved in cancer.'

The team is complemented by PhoreMost CEO Dr Chris Torrance, who co-founded and commercialised Horizon Discovery, a pioneering phenotypic screening company, which recently floated on the London Stock Exchange and is currently valued at around £150m.

Torrance commented: 'We have been very aware of Phylogica’s unique technology asset and its vast potential to generate novel drug candidates for diseases previously considered “undruggable”. This agreement is an important part of our quest to find and develop superior small molecule therapies through specialised phenotypic screening approaches.'

Companies