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Centogene Strikes Rare Disease Target Discovery Deal With Insilico Medicine

NEW YORK — Centogene has partnered with Insilico Medicine to discover novel drug targets for Niemann-Pick disease type C, a rare genetic lysosomal storage disorder, the companies said on Thursday.

NPC is caused by mutations in two genes, NPC1 and NPC2, that affect the body's ability to transport lipids within cells. Symptoms may include ataxia, dystonia, vertical supranuclear gaze palsy, severe liver disease, and interstitial lung disease. There are currently no US Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments for the condition.

Under the terms of the 20-week deal, the companies will apply Insilico's artificial intelligence-based target discovery platform to Centogene's rare disease-focused Bio/Databank, multiomic patient data, and NPC cell lines for transcriptomic data and validation of identified candidates. Potential targets will be jointly analyzed, then validated in Centogene's cellular models.

Centogene will retain exclusive rights to intellectual property resulting from the alliance.

Financial and other terms were not disclosed.

"Combining both Centogene's expertise in multiomics and unique global insights from the world's largest NPC cohort with Insilico's next-generation AI platform has the potential to enable an accelerated cure for this rare and often rapidly progressing disease," Carsten Ullrich, senior director of artificial intelligence at Centogene, said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Hong Kong-based Insilico entered into a drug-discovery and -development deal with Fosun Pharma.

For Centogene, the new deal comes after the firm reported a 17 percent decline in overall revenues and a 28 percent drop in pharma revenues in the third quarter of 2021.