This project, the result of a close and highly effective collaboration between the two companies that started in early 2015, focuses on the development of novel small molecule macrocycle inhibitors of an enzyme target critical to the life cycle of flaviviruses. It exploits Cyclenium’s proprietary CMRT™ (“smart”) drug discovery technology together with Haplogen’s exquisite expertise in flaviviral biology to identify new agents for therapeutic and prophylactic use against all major pathogenic organisms from this family, including dengue, Zika, West Nile, Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever viruses. Cyclenium will be responsible for all medicinal chemistry efforts associated with current lead optimization to clinical candidates, while Haplogen Bioscience will continue to thoroughly characterize the biological and pharmacological properties of these novel molecules. The partners intend to jointly develop and commercialize the resulting drug candidates.
For these late stage discovery efforts, Cyclenium has received a significant contribution from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP), a federally-funded program that supports small and medium-sized business and the commercialization of innovative Canadian technologies, while Haplogen Bioscience has been awarded a grant from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), the country’s national funding agency for industrial research and development.
“We greatly appreciate the EUREKA organization, NRC IRAP and the FFG for recognizing the importance, excellent potential and global value of this collaborative project, which reflects the highly fruitful and synergistic nature of our relationship with Haplogen Bioscience,” stated Helmut Thomas, Ph.D., President, Chief Executive Officer & Chief Scientific Officer of Cyclenium Pharma. “The promising results we have obtained to date open an exciting path towards the discovery and development of potent pan-flaviviral inhibitors, which would have significant worldwide impact in fighting and preventing these infections.”
“We are excited about the potential opening up when expertise combines across continents and we experience the EUREKA support as a booster to leverage this potential for us. With this partnership we establish a strong foothold in Canada, a country with flourishing biotechnology, and the Vienna BioCenter in Austria, a life science and biotechnology hub that plays in the world’s top league of life science research.” remarked Dr. Georg Casari, CEO of Haplogen Bioscience “With our program, we want to make an impact and develop a medical treatment for patients that are currently left with no options.”
Flaviviral infections cause a variety of clinical manifestations ranging from relatively mild rash and flu-like symptoms, to extremely serious diseases, such as encephalitis and hemorrhagic fever. Globally, tens of thousands of deaths and millions of illnesses are the result of these infections with escalating incidence being observed both within and outside the usual tropical and subtropical regions. The recent Zika outbreak in South America and the serious long-term difficulties in containing dengue disease underscore the increasingly urgent need for new therapies to battle these viral pathogens.
About Cyclenium Pharma Inc.
Cyclenium Pharma is an emerging, privately-held pharmaceutical research and development company that has translated its nearly two decades of pioneering experience, extensive knowledge base and unparalleled expertise in small molecule macrocyclic chemistry into the next generation CMRT drug discovery technology that addresses the shortcomings of earlier efforts in this increasingly important domain. Cyclenium is creating value through progression of internal programs in oncology, infectious diseases and inflammation/pain. In addition, Cyclenium is providing its extensive experience and exploring its CMRT-based QUEST™ screening library in risk-sharing partnerships with leading academic and research driven non-profit organizations, as well as collaborations with innovative pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies world-wide seeking to modulate unique and difficult disease targets in diverse therapeutic areas. For more information see: www.cyclenium.com.
About Haplogen Bioscience GmbH
Haplogen Bioscience is a privately held biotechnology company in Vienna, Austria, with drug discovery programs to combat viral infectious and other diseases. Haplogen was founded in 2010 as a spin-out of CeMM, the Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. For more information on Haplogen visit: http://www.haplogen.com.