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Envoy to Screen Targets for Takeda Pharmaceutical

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Envoy Therapeutics and Takeda Pharmaceutical have formed a three-year alliance to discover drug candidates for treating schizophrenia, the firms announced today.

Jupiter, Fla.-based Envoy will use its bacTrap technology, which combines genetic engineering with new molecular biology techniques for labeling and extracting the protein-making components of specific types of cells. The technology, which was developed at Rockefeller University, enables identification of new drug targets by measuring the in vivo expression of translated genes in specific, medically relevant cell types among the intermingled cell types present in the central nervous system without requiring the isolation of cells, said Envoy.

Envoy researchers aim to identify proteins that are selectively expressed in specific cell types within the brain that are known to be affected in patients with schizophrenia. The firms will then collaborate on evaluating and selecting proteins that hold the greatest potential for therapeutic modulation.

Under terms of the pact, Osaka, Japan-based Takeda will make a $3 million upfront payment to Envoy and provide $2.25 million per year in research funding and fees. In addition, Envoy will receive potential milestone payments and royalties should one or more compounds advance to clinical development and commercialization.

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