NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Computational drug discovery company TwoXAR will collaborate with Santen Inc., the US subsidiary of Japanese specialty ophthalmology company Santen Pharmaceuticals, for glaucoma-related drug discovery, the firms announced today.
TwoXAR will use its AI-based algorithms — which employ a diverse set of biomedical data such as gene expression microarrays, protein interaction networks, and clinical data — to discover, screen, and prioritize novel drug candidates, and Santen will have the exclusive right to develop and commercialize drug candidates arising from the collaboration. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
"By leveraging TwoXAR’s proprietary computational discovery platform to identify novel targets in areas of glaucoma, Santen further strengthens our R&D capabilities while expanding our pipeline of innovative therapeutic opportunities that help fulfill the unmet medical needs in ophthalmology," Naveed Shams, Santen's senior corporate officer, CSO, and head of global R&D, said in a statement.
Andrew Radin, cofounder and CEO of TwoXAR, noted the collaboration is "an exciting example that demonstrates how software-driven approaches can lead to the discovery of new drugs rather than simply supporting existing hypotheses. The combination of TwoXAR's unique capabilities in artificial intelligence-driven drug discovery with Santen's experience in ophthalmic product development and commercialization provides a foundation upon which we can rapidly discover and develop new therapeutic candidates to treat glaucoma and bring better treatment options to the millions of people living with this disease."
After raising $3.4 million of seed financing in 2015, Palo Alto, California-based TwoXAR has recently inked computational drug discovery agreements with researchers at University of Chicago for cardiac treatments, and at Stanford University for dermatology and hepatocellular carcinoma therapies.
Santen, meanwhile, is a market leader in Japan for prescription ophthalmic pharmaceuticals and sells products in over 50 countries.