Polyphor and Axxam form ion channel collaboration

Firms to develop drug candidates for selected therapeutic areas

Swiss biotech Polyphor and Axxam of Italy have signed a joint agreement to discover and develop innovative drug candidates for selected therapeutic areas such as pain, inflammation, and metabolic disorders.

Axxam, based at the San Raffaele Biomedical Science Park in Milan, will apply its expertise and hit discovery platforms and capabilities, while Polyphor will provide its proprietary Protein Epitope Mimetics (PEM) finder library for screening, in addition to its expertise in medicinal chemistry, drug discovery and development. The collaboration comprises several discovery programmes addressing ion channel-based targets.

‘We believe that our unique cooperation and the complementary skill sets of both companies will offer a valuable alternative for innovation in the demanding field of ion channel-based drugs and will industrialise the process for the generation of novel drugs for high medical needs,’ said Stefan Lohmer, chief executive of Axxam.

Jean-Pierre Obrecht, ceo of Polyphor, added: ‘We have selected Axxam as the preferred partner because of its strong expertise in assay development and HTS, in particular in the field of ion-channels. This capability will allow Polyphor to exploit the potential of its proprietary drug development platforms and accelerate the identification of novel research programmes.’

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