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X-Chem, Pfizer Collaborate on Screening for Inflammatory, Orphan Diseases

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Biotech firm X-Chem today announced a multi-target collaboration with Pfizer for the potential development of new treatments for inflammatory and orphan diseases.

X-Chem will apply its discovery engine to identify new leads for several of Pfizer's treatment development programs. Pfizer has an exclusive option to license compounds generated from the collaboration. Further details of the deal were not disclosed.

X-Chem's technology uses a high diversity, proprietary DNA-encoded small molecule library to discover novel and selective compounds across a wide range of targets, including some that have previously failed using conventional methods, the Waltham, Mass.-based firm said.

Its platform combines innovations in library design, screening methods, and bioinformatics, while its library synthesis process enables the addition of DNA tags that use chemical methods. This approach, the firm said, allows additional chemical reactions to be useable in DNA-encoded library synthesis.

A library generated by "iterative combinatorial synthesis of small molecules tethered to DNA tags which record the synthetic history of the small molecule" underlie X-Chem's drug discovery engine. Using DNA barcoding, affinity-based binding, and DNA targeting, multiple families of clusters of related molecules that bind to a target of interest are identified, "forming a basis for emergent structure-activity relationships" that can guide the maturation of a lead molecule into a drug, the company said.

Molecules are subsequently made without the DNA tag attached and tested for activity.

"With the ongoing expansion of X-Chem’s library, informatics capabilities, and screening expertise, we continue to identify lead molecules to challenging, high value therapeutic targets," X-Chem CEO Rick Wagner said in a statement. "Our vision is to enable breakthroughs in the treatment of diseases with high unmet medical need by partnering our lead discovery engine with leaders in the pharmaceutical industry such as Pfizer."