Press releases

Thursday November 2nd, 2023
Lead Discovery Center GmbH licenses next-generation anticancer drug candidate to HLB Life Science R&D
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Lead Discovery Center GmbH licenses next-generation anticancer drug candidate to HLB Life Science R&D
  • The new drug candidate effectively inhibits cancer cell repair by blocking RNA transcription
  • The goal is to jointly develop a new first-in-class therapeutic drug

Dortmund, Germany, and Seoul, Korea – November 2nd, 2023. HLB Life Science R&D (HLB), a leading Korean biopharmaceutical company, signed an agreement with Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) to license and co-develop a next-generation anticancer drug candidate. LDC is a top-class translational research organization renowned worldwide for early-stage drug discovery. The licensed drug candidate is based on an asset largely incubated at LDC with support from the neighboring Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology (Dortmund, Germany).

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This first-in-class candidate showed anticancer efficacy in early-stage research. It especially inhibits the transcription of genes involved in the self-repair of damaged cancer cells. HLB will move the candidate into clinical development by quickly completing the preclinical phase together with LDC.

HLB announced on August 9th, 2023, the signature of the license agreement for exclusive rights worldwide of the drug candidate. LDC and its partners Max Planck Foundation, Max Planck Society and KHAN Technology Transfer Fund I (KHAN-I) will receive an upfront payment, remuneration for development and sales milestones, along with royalties based on future revenues.

Dr. Bert Klebl, CEO & CSO of LDC, says, “We are delighted to have found a strong partner in HLB Life Science R&D. HLB has the power to promote our promising and novel candidate to the next stages of development, with the aim to reach cancer patients as soon as possible. We are much looking forward to this cooperation and partnership”.

Dr. Yong Hae Han, CEO of HLB Life Science R&D and CTO of HLB Group, adds, “We have deeply discussed with LDC for a long time that both companies are very interested in researching and developing next-generation anticancer drugs. Finally, both partners have agreed to take such interests to the next level. As soon as we bring the candidate into our R&D center, we will focus all our efforts on this project, and strengthen our partnership with LDC.”

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Contact
Lead Discovery Center GmbH
Otto-Hahn-Straße 15
44227 Dortmund
Germany
Phone: +49 231 97 42 70 00
E-mail: pr@lead-discovery.de

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About Lead Discovery Center GmbH

Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) was established in 2008 by the technology transfer organization Max Planck Innovation, as a novel approach to capitalize on the potential of excellent basic research for the discovery of new therapies for diseases with high medical need. LDC takes on promising early-stage projects from academia and transforms them into innovative pharmaceutical leads and antibodies that reach initial proof-of-concept in animals as well as candidate nomination. In close collaboration with high-profile partners from research and industry, LDC is building a strong and growing portfolio of small molecule and antibody leads with exceptional medical and commercial potential. LDC sustains a long-term partnership with the Max Planck Society and KHAN Technology Transfer Fund I (KHAN-I), and has formed alliances with AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck KGaA, Daiichi Sankyo, Qurient, invIOs, Novo Nordisk, Cumulus Oncology, Nodus Oncology, JT Pharmaceuticals, KinSea Lead Discovery AS, and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research e.g. In addition, LDC also works with leading translational drug discovery centers and with various investors to provide its assets for company creation.

Further information available at: www.lead-discovery.de

About HLB Life Science R&D

HLB Life Science R&D, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, is a 100% subsidiary of HLB Life Science, which was founded in 1998 and listed on KOSDAQ in 2008, with its current market cap of 1 billion USD approximately. Both HLB Life Science and HLB Life Science R&D are owned and governed by HLB group. HLB Group has now 37 affiliates and, especially in the healthcare industry, it has established a fully integrated bio-ecosystem from research to commercialization. As a result of such ecosystem, one of the affiliates submitted an NDA to the US FDA for a first-line therapy of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). As a core of R&D within the group, HLB Life Science R&D has been developing anticancer drugs for the best cancer treatments by strengthening partnerships worldwide and exploring opportunities for synergies with its R&D capabilities.

Further information available at: http://hlbkorea.com/en/

About KHAN-I

KHAN Technology Transfer Fund I GmbH & Co KG (KHAN-I) is an early-stage life sciences venture fund with € 70 million under management. Their mission is to create value through cooperative drug development partnerships with academic innovators in Europe. KHAN-I focuses on first-in-class therapies for attractive markets with a high unmet medical need. The fund is managed by Khanu Management GmbH, an experienced team of professionals with proven track records in early-stage drug development and academic spin-offs as well as pharma licensing and partnering. KHAN-I received an investment from the European Investment Fund (EIF) with the support of InnovFin Equity, and with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) under the Investment Plan for Europe. KHAN-I is also supported by Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH (AWS with funds provided by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs and the Austrian Foundation for Research, Technology, and Development), Max Planck Foundation, and Thyssen’sche Handelsgesellschaft mbH. In addition, KHAN-I sustains a preferred partnership with the Max Planck Society (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft e.V.).

Further information available at: www.khanu.de

About Max Planck Foundation

The Max Planck Foundation is a private, independent and non-profit organization with the sole purpose of providing funds for excellent, innovative and forward-looking research projects of the Max Planck Society. As additional support for scientists from the Max Planck Society the Foundation also facilitates the transfer from knowledge to application. The foundation was established in 2006 and the assets of the foundation are currently around € 650 million

About Max Planck Innovation

Max Planck Innovation (MI) is responsible for the technology transfer of the Max Planck Society and, as such, the link between industry and basic research. With an interdisciplinary team, MI advises and supports scientists at Max Planck Institutes in evaluating their inventions, filing patents and founding companies. MI offers industry unique access to the innovations of the Max Planck Institutes. Thus, MI performs an important task: the transfer of basic research results into products that contribute to economic and social progress.

Further information at: www.max-planck-innovation.com.

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Wednesday October 11th, 2023
LDC and JT team up for the discovery of new therapies
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LDC and JT team up for the discovery of new therapies

Dortmund, Germany, October 11th, 2023 – The Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) and Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) have closed a collaboration agreement to discover new first-in-class therapeutic approaches, focusing around novel chemical entities for the treatment of various diseases with significant unmet medical need.

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Over a period of up to seven years, LDC, together with its extensive academic network, will identify high-potential projects that fit JT’s therapeutic priorities and in-licensing needs. The network includes research institutes of the Max Planck Society, other research organizations, as well as high-profile universities from all over Germany and beyond. Ideas for new therapeutic approaches will be collaboratively incubated at LDC as usual, although with additional support and expertise from JT. After achieving the proof-of-concept milestone by demonstrating in vivo efficacy for representatives of the respective new compound class, such projects will be targets for in-licensing by JT, where they will be further developed.

“We are pleased to team up with the LDC and its excellent network of academic inventors. The collaboration will enable us to identify truly novel therapeutic approaches that could make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients around the world”, says Muneaki Fujimoto, President of JT’s Pharmaceutical Business.

“We are excited to have a new industry partner on board who shares our brave ambition and the associated risks to transfer highly innovative approaches from academic research into application”, Bert Klebl, CEO and CSO of LDC, continues. “With their proven expertise in business and drug development, JT is perfectly positioned to advance early-stage projects along the value chain, and ultimately towards patients who urgently need new therapeutic options. We are looking forward to a productive and exciting collaboration.”

Academic inventors and their institutions will not only benefit from the drug discovery and development experience of both LDC and JT, but also from future commercialization revenues.

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Contact
Lead Discovery Center GmbH
Otto-Hahn-Straße 15
44227 Dortmund
Germany
Phone: +49 231 97 42 70 00
Mail: pr@lead-discovery.de

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About LDC

Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) was established in 2008 by the technology transfer organization Max Planck Innovation, as a novel approach to capitalize on the potential of excellent basic research for the discovery of new therapies for diseases with high medical need. The LDC takes on promising early-stage projects from academia and transforms them into innovative pharmaceutical leads and antibodies that reach initial proof-of-concept in animals as well as candidate nomination. In close collaboration with high-profile partners from research and industry, the LDC is building a strong and growing portfolio of small molecule and antibody leads with exceptional medical and commercial potential.

LDC sustains a long-term partnership with the Max Planck Society and its institutes as well as with KHAN-I, and has formed alliances with AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck KGaA, Daiichi Sankyo, Qurient, InvIOS, Novo Nordisk, Cumulus Oncology, Nodus Oncology, KinSea AS, HLB Life Science, the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research, e.g. In addition, LDC also works with leading translational drug discovery centers and with various investors to provide its assets for company creation.

Further information at www.lead-discovery.de

About JT

JT has a pharmaceutical business that focuses on research and development, manufacturing and sales of prescription drugs.

Further information at https://www.jt.com/about/division/pharma/index.html

Tuesday September 12th, 2023
RIANA Therapeutics enters into collaboration agreement with LDC
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RIANA Therapeutics enters into collaboration agreement with LDC

Vienna, Austria, and Dortmund, Germany – September 12th, 2023. RIANA Therapeutics, a spin-off from Vetmeduni Vienna has entered into a collaborative agreement with the Lead Discovery Center GmbH, a renowned organization specialized in translational drug discovery. This partnership marks the first important milestone on RIANA Therapeutics´ mission to discover and develop novel cancer therapeutics that disrupt oncogenic protein-protein interactions (PPIs).

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Inhibition of PPIs is an emerging drug modality and a highly promising therapeutic approach for numerous diseases, including cancer, to overcome widespread resistance to drugs already in use and to improve treatment efficacy. Under the now-signed collaboration agreement, LDC will conduct high-throughput screening (HTS) using a diverse compound library of more than 200,000 chemical substances to identify novel PPI inhibitors targeting STAT5, a critical mediator driving the development of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

Through the strategic partnership with LDC, RIANA Therapeutics secures invaluable access to LDC’s profound expertise in the field of early drug discovery. By combining their respective strengths, RIANA Therapeutics and LDC aim to accelerate the translation of innovative discoveries into potential therapeutics, with the declared long-term goal of improving the well-being of patients on a global scale.

Anna Orlova, co-founder and CEO of RIANA Therapeutics, expressed her excitement about the collaboration: “We are thrilled to partner with LDC, a highly experienced player in drug discovery. Their expertise and capabilities will be instrumental in our efforts to develop breakthrough therapeutics for hematopoietic and other cancer types. This collaboration marks a significant milestone for RIANA Therapeutics, and we look forward to working together to advance our shared mission of improving human health.”

Peter Nussbaumer, Managing Director at LDC, added: “We are highly motivated to start the challenging discovery of inhibitors targeting oncogenic PPI interactions within this new partnership with RIANA. This cooperation has the great potential to lay the groundwork for new, urgently needed therapeutic approaches for AML patients.”

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About LDC

Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) was established in 2008 by the technology transfer organization Max Planck Innovation, as a novel approach to capitalize on the potential of excellent basic research for the discovery of new therapies for diseases with high medical need. LDC takes on promising early-stage projects from academia and transforms them into innovative pharmaceutical leads and antibodies that reach initial proof-of-concept in animals as well as candidate nomination. In close collaboration with high-profile partners from research and industry, LDC is building a strong and growing portfolio of small molecule and antibody leads with exceptional medical and commercial potential.

LDC sustains a long-term partnership with the Max Planck Society and its institutes as well as with KHAN-I, and has formed alliances with AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck KGaA, Daiichi Sankyo, Qurient, InvIOS, Novo Nordisk, Cumulus Oncology, Nodus Oncology, JT Pharmaceuticals, KinSea AS, HLB Pharma, the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research, e.g. In addition, LDC also works with leading translational drug discovery centers and with various investors to provide its assets for company creation.

Further information at www.lead-discovery.de

About RIANA

RIANA Therapeutics was founded in February 2023 as a spin-off of Vetmeduni in Vienna by Anna Orlova, Richard Moriggl, and Oliver Szolar. The technological foundation is based on a proprietary platform technology for the discovery of compounds that target cancer-promoting protein-protein interactions (PPI), enabling a reliable search for inhibitors that block the formation of specific oncogenic PPIs. Building upon this novel proprietary technology, the team led by Orlova is working on developing new compounds specifically targeting AML, as well as other blood cancers and certain types of solid tumors.

Further information at www.rianatx.com

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Contact
Lead Discovery Center GmbH
Otto-Hahn-Straße 15
44227 Dortmund
Germany
Phone: +49 231 97 42 70 00
Mail: pr@lead-discovery.de

Wednesday February 8th, 2023
Norwegian Start-up KinSea to Exploit the Potential of Marine Bioactives for the Treatment of Cancer and other Diseases
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Norwegian Start-up KinSea to Exploit the Potential of Marine Bioactives for the Treatment of Cancer and other Diseases
  • Launched by UiT The Arctic University of Norway (UiT), University of Bergen (UiB), Norinnova, and Lead Discovery Center (LDC)
  • Lead program with outstanding in vivo efficacy as pan-mutant FLT3 kinase inhibitor in AML, even against hard-to-treat, drug-induced and drug-resistant mutations
  • Diversified drug discovery pipeline to be established based on the partners’ unique access to bioactives from the Arctic Ocean and premier drug discovery expertise
  • Financing secured by KHAN Technology Transfer Fund I
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February 8th, 2023, Tromsø and Bergen, Norway, Dortmund, Germany. Norinnova, UiT The Arctic University of Norway (UiT), the University of Bergen (UiB) and the Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC), launched a new spin-out company, KinSea Lead Discovery AS (KinSea), to further develop an FLT3 kinase inhibitor program at lead status based on unique chemistry from marine sources towards (pre)clinical development. In addition, KinSea in a collaboration with UiT shall continue to comprehensively exploit the potential of marine bioactives for the treatment of human diseases. Seed financing is initially secured through a convertible loan from KHAN Technology Transfer Fund I GmbH & Co KG (KHAN-I), an early-stage life sciences venture fund based in Germany, with the purpose to
expand the investor syndicate.

The company is based in Tromsø and will initially focus on its pan-mutant FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) inhibitor program which has strong potential to overcome the limitations of currently available first- and second-generation FLT3 inhibitors for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) as well as other hematologic tumors. It is founded on a proprietary scaffold based on a natural product from the Arctic Ocean that has been discovered and further developed by the founding partners. Results from in vivo proof-of-concept studies in an animal model of AML suggest superior properties over existing FLT3 inhibitors, including broad activity against known drug-induced and drug-resistant FLT3 mutations, improved selectivity, and outstanding in vivo potency. The project has been developed in collaboration between UiT, UiB, and LDC and has been funded by the Norwegian Research Council and the regional biotech program MABIT.

‘For AML patients this may translate into safer, more effective and entirely new treatment options, where other drugs fail. It is a great opportunity to exploit the potential of this program for the benefit of patients,’ says Jeanette Hammer Andersen, CEO of KinSea. ‘We are excited to continue our longstanding collaboration on marine bioprospecting and to take our FLT3 inhibitors through the next steps in the drug discovery pipeline,’ adds Bengt Erik Haug, CSO of KinSea.

Using the proceeds of the seed financing, KinSea plans to mature its lead program into a preclinical candidate ready for advanced preclinical and clinical development by licensing partners. In addition, the company will seek to use UiT’s marine bioactives repository to gradually expand its drug discovery pipeline and become a sustainable source of high-potential drug candidates based on novel scaffolds from the Arctic Ocean.

‘We are convinced there are many more treasures hidden in the Arctic Ocean that could help solve some of the most pressing challenges in human health,’ adds Bert Klebl, CEO & CSO of LDC. ‘With its premier access to marine bioactives and the distinguished drug discovery expertise of its partners, KinSea is perfectly positioned to unlock this potential.’

Dag Rune Olsen, UiT´s director: Through our research effort on marine bioprospecting, highly motivated scientists, and the longstanding fruitful collaboration with the LDC, we have created the basis for this spin-out company. It is important for UiT to contribute to new business and value creation through innovation based on excellent research’.

‘The faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences sees the KinSea start-up as a very positive outcome of the longstanding high-level research that is being conducted at the faculty. Providing new knowledge and facilitating for innovation based on research is at the heart of the faculty´s mission. Together with a skilled team of partners we aim to fulfill the translation from basic research to a socially beneficial innovation project’, states Gunn Mangerud, UiB´s Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

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About UiT
UiT The Arctic University of Norway (UiT) is the northernmost university of the world. Its location on the edge of the Arctic implies a mission. The Arctic is of increasing global importance. Climate change, the exploitation of Arctic resources and environmental threats are topics of great public concern, which UiT situated in all of Northern Norway take special interest in. At UiT The Arctic University of Norway we explore global issues from a close-up perspective.

About UiB
The University of Bergen (UiB) is an internationally recognised research university. Academic diversity and high quality are fundamental for us, as we aim is to develop knowledge that shapes society. UiB is the most cited university in Norway and we are among the very best in the world at interacting and collaborating internationally, and with actors outside the university. Situated in the Ocean City of Bergen, UiB has been assigned a leading role on the work with Sustainable Development Goal 14 Life Below Water.

About Norinnova
Norinnova is one of Northern Norway’s most competent and experienced agencies for research commercialization. Norinnova connects researchers, start-up environments, companies and commercial actors to develop and utilize the region’s innovation power. For more than 30 years, Norinnova has worked closely with researchers and leading research communities in Northern Norway to harness the power of innovation in the north. This collaboration has contributed to the creation of brand-new businesses and has reinforced existing companies through new products and services. Norinnova secures rights, helps provide funding, investigates market potential, finds relevant partners, and contributes so that the scientists can get their product or service to the market.
Further information at
www.norinnova.no

About LDC
Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) was established in 2008 by the technology transfer organization Max Planck Innovation, as a novel approach to capitalize on the potential of excellent basic research for the discovery of new therapies for diseases with high medical need. The LDC takes on promising early-stage projects from academia and transforms them into innovative pharmaceutical leads and antibodies that reach initial proof-of-concept in animals as well as candidate nomination. In close collaboration with high-profile partners from research and industry, the LDC is building a strong and growing portfolio of small molecule and antibody leads with exceptional medical and commercial potential. LDC sustains a long-term partnership with the Max Planck Society and KHAN-I, and has formed alliances with AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck KGaA, Daiichi Sankyo, Qurient, Roche, InvIOs, e.g. In addition, LDC also works with leading translational drug  discovery centers and with various investors to provide its assets for company creation.
Further information at
www.lead-discovery.de


About KHAN-I
KHAN Technology Transfer Fund I GmbH & Co KG (KHAN-I) is an early-stage life sciences venture fund with €70 million under management. Our mission is to create value through cooperative drug development partnerships with academic innovators in Europe. KHAN-I focuses on first-in-class therapies for attractive markets with a high unmet medical need. The fund is managed by Khanu Management GmbH, an experienced team of professionals with proven track records in early-stage drug development and academic spin-offs as well as pharma licensing and partnering. KHAN-I received an investment from the European Investment Fund (EIF) with the support of InnovFin Equity, and with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (“EFSI”) under the Investment Plan for Europe. KHANI is also supported by Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH (AWS with funds provided by the Austrian
Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs and the Austrian Foundation for Research, Technology, and Development), Max Planck Foundation, and Thyssen’sche Handelsgesellschaft mbH. In addition, KHAN-I sustains a preferred partnership with the Max-Planck Society (Max-Planck Gesellschaft e.V.).
Further information at
www.khanu.de

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Contact
Lead Discovery Center GmbH
Otto-Hahn-Straße 15
44227 Dortmund
Germany
Phone: +49 231 97 42 70 00
Mail: pr@lead-discovery.de

Wednesday October 12th, 2016
LDC and UGISense AG to Collaborate on New Drug Class
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LDC and UGISense AG to Collaborate on New Drug Class

Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) and the biotech company UGISense AG are about to initiate a collaboration to jointly develop innovative drugs using the proprietary UgimeresTM antisense platform.

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Dortmund, October 12, 2016 – Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) and the biotech company UGISense AG are about to initiate a collaboration to jointly develop innovative drugs using the proprietary UgimeresTM antisense platform. Additionally, LDC will acquire a minority stake in UGISense AG during a first 1.2 million Euros financing round involving several private investors. The partnership aims at combining the potential of the innovative Ugimeres antisense platform with LDC’s drug discovery expertise and target know-how to maximize synergies and jointly commercialize successful projects.

“We see the Ugimeres platform as a highly exciting addition to our own in-house drug discovery technologies. We believe that the drug class of peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) offers enormous potential especially in the innovative field of microRNAs and for so far ‘undruggable’ targets”, says Dr. Bert Klebl, CEO of the LDC. “We look forward to working closely with the UGISense team and to jointly advance our first pilot projects”.

“We are very excited about the successful financing of UGISense AG and welcome our new partner LDC. This partnership will allow us to focus closely on the high-quality development and commercialization of Ugimeres as innovative drugs for targets with high unmet medical need”, says Dr. Thomas Lindhorst of UGISense AG’s executive board.

About UGISense AG

UGISense AG is a biotech company dedicated to developing new and innovative antisense drugs in collaboration with partners from the industry and academia. The developments are made on the basis of a proprietary platform technology, i.e. the UgimeresTM. The company, which was first established in 2016, is being financed by private investors and has been accredited by the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) (within the scope of their Venture Capital Grants program).

About UgimeresTM

UgimeresTM are short oligonucleotide sequences capable of interacting with single-stranded DNA or RNA by forming a double strand. Thanks to said double-strand formation, disease-relevant proteins will be specifically prevented from forming altogether or will be reduced to only a modified stage. This makes it possible to therapeutically influence the development of diseases at a very early stage of intervention. Structurally, UgimeresTM are derived from peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) to which important pharmacological functions have been added by way of chemical modifications.

For more details please go to: www.ugisense.com

Contact

Dr. Thomas Lindhorst
T. +43 (0)664 9123146
E. thomas.lindhorst@ugisense.com

UGISense AG
c/o Nordwind Capital GmbH
Residenzstrasse 18
80333 Munich

Tuesday June 7th, 2016
LDC Teams up with Canadian McGill University in $1 Million Translational Drug Discovery Project First research project to be funded under the Canada/Germany Program
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LDC Teams up with Canadian McGill University in $1 Million Translational Drug Discovery Project First research project to be funded under the Canada/Germany Program

Researchers from the Lead Discovery Center (LDC) in Dortmund, Germany led by Dr. Bert Klebl and McGill University in Montréal, Canada led by Dr. David Y. Thomas will work closely together to identify novel tools for protein trafficking and folding diseases drug discovery.The 3-years research initiative between LDCand McGill University will be funded for a total of $1M.

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Dortmund, June 7, 2016 – Researchers from the Lead Discovery Center (LDC) in Dortmund, Germany led by Dr. Bert Klebl and McGill University in Montréal, Canada led by Dr. David Y. Thomas will work closely together to identify novel tools for protein trafficking and folding diseases drug discovery.The 3-years research initiative between LDCand McGill University will be funded for a total of $1M.

The project is the first to be funded under the Canada/Germany Program, a joint collaboration between the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), through its ZIM Program,and the CQDM consortium in Canada.Falling under the broader Canada/Europe initiative, the Canada/Germany Program aims to support novel and potentially transformative next‐generation technologies with the potential to improve, enhance or accelerate the state of the art and drug development process.

“We are proud of the fruits that bear our partnership with BMWi. The creative and innovative aspects of this project are the reasons we fulfill our missions and organize international funding programs,” said Diane Gosselin, President and CEO at CQDM. “This public‐private partnership is willing to develop new expertise and to expand into new markets, and these collaborative efforts will certainly strengthen research in Canada and Germany.”

“This project is the outcome of a great collaboration with LDC scientists on an important research topic. The project aims at addressing a need in biopharmaceutical research that is still understudied and unmet. ER stress is implicated in many diseases and Dr. Klebl and I will work at developing new tools for its study thanks to the funding initiative of CQDM and ZIM,” said Dr. David Y. Thomas at McGill University.

“We are very excited to embark on this international collaboration together with Dr. Thomas from McGill University. It truly is a team effort that draws its strength from our complementary expertise and deep insights into the biology,”said Dr. Bert Klebl, CEO at LDC. “This public private partnership pulls together multidisciplinary scientific resources and may lead to the discovery of new targets, a better understanding of off targets of known drugs and eventually to the identification of novel drug candidates for protein trafficking diseases.”

About the Project: Protein trafficking and misfolding under scrutiny

One third of the proteins encoded in our DNA transit through the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) inside cells. The ER has several distinct mechanisms to check the integrity and proper folding of these proteins. Some protein trafficking respiratory diseases result from an overzealous quality control system that recognizes mutant proteins that are otherwise functional and tags them for degradation before they reach their correct location. This complex quality control system is achieved through a network of interacting enzymes called kinases. ER quality control is an understudied field of biology and could represent a goldmine of new targets to treat many diseases including neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes and cancer. We have shown that inhibitors of some of these kinases affect the accuracy of the ER quality control system and are able to correct trafficking defects responsible in some diseases. The aim of this project is to generate a platform to study the most important players responsible for the proper trafficking of proteins. This collaborative project will leverage the expertise of each researcher to generate a set of validated tools and chemical probes to interrogate the protein kinases involved in protein trafficking which could allow to identify new targets for the development of novel ER related diseases therapies.

About CQDM

CQDM is a pharma-based consortium active in early research whose mission is to fund the development of innovative tools and technologies to accelerate drug discovery. Unique in the world, CQDM’s business model is based on a collaborative approach where all stakeholders share the costs of biopharmaceutical research and benefit from its results. CQDM also provides a common meeting ground where academia, governments, and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries converge to address numerous complex medical challenges. CQDM receives financial support from Merck, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly Canada, Janssen, Novartis Pharma Canada, Sanofi Canada, as well as from Quebec’s Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation (MESI) and from the Government of Canada under the Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence Program (BL-NCE).

For more information:www.cqdm.org

Wednesday May 11th, 2016
LDC and Boehringer Ingelheim Join Forces to Discover a Novel Approach for the Treatment of Schizophrenia
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LDC and Boehringer Ingelheim Join Forces to Discover a Novel Approach for the Treatment of Schizophrenia

The Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC), Max Planck Innovation GmbH and Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH have signed an agreement providing Boehringer Ingelheim with the option to receive the exclusive rights to a new lead compound for the treatment of schizophrenia to be discovered and developed at the LDC.

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Dortmund, May 11, 2016 – The Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC), Max Planck Innovation GmbH and Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH have signed an agreement providing Boehringer Ingelheim with the option to receive the exclusive rights to a new lead compound for the treatment of schizophrenia to be discovered and developed at the LDC.

The novel approach builds on ground-breaking research results from Prof. Moritz Rossner and his team at the Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine in Göttingen. He will work closely together with the LDC team to identify and optimize novel compounds with strong therapeutic potential and develop it further to the stage of a validated pharmaceutical lead with in vivo efficacy. Moritz Rossner holds also a Professorship at Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich and is a co-founder of Systasy Bioscience GmbH.

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling mental disorder ranked among the 12 most debilitating diseases by the World Health Organization. It affects about 1 in 100 people worldwide, changing the way they behave, think and perceive the world. Although anti-psychotic medications and psychosocial interventions can effectively reduce symptoms and improve patients’ lives, there remainsa strong need for new drugs truly addressing causative mechanisms and cognitive impairment.

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder

which affects how a person behaves,

thinks and perceives the world.

“Schizophrenia is an incredibly complex disorder which dramatically changes the life of the individual affected,” says Prof. Rossner. “We believe our approach holds strong potential to improve the treatment options for patients, and this collaboration with the LDC and Boehringer Ingelheim is a great opportunity to advance it from our laboratory into pharmaceutical development.”

In this early discovery project Boehringer Ingelheim will take a seat on the project development team and will pay an option fee. In addition, the company will allocate internal resources to the programand support collaborating partners to strengthen the early development work. Once the project has attained proof-of-concept in relevant invivo models Boehringer Ingelheim can exclusively license the lead at pre-defined terms for subsequent preclinical and clinical development. Any revenue the LDC may receive from commercialization will be shared with the academic inventors and collaborating institutions.

“Since the LDC’s inception, we have been in close contact with Boehringer Ingelheim, establishing a relationship based on mutual trust over the years. We very much appreciate their expertise and commitment to driving forward innovative therapeutic approaches,”says Dr. Bert Klebl, CEO of the LDC. “It is a great pleasure for us to be launching our first joint project in the field of mental disorders, which we believe is often underestimated. We see strong commercial opportunities here, and there is already a strong line-up of promising projects in this area from our academic network.”

About Max Planck Innovation
Max Planck Innovation is responsible for the technology transfer of the Max Planck Society and, as such, serves as a link between industry and basic research. With its interdisciplinary team it advises and supports scientists in evaluating their inventions, filing patents, and founding companies. Max Planck Innovation offers the industry unique access to the innovations of the Max Planck Institutes, and therefore performs an important task: the transfer of basic research results into products, which contributes to economic and social progress.

Further information at: www.max-planck-innovation.de

Thursday January 21st, 2016
LDC Enters new Industry Partnership for the Discovery of Novel Medicines
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LDC Enters new Industry Partnership for the Discovery of Novel Medicines

LDC and Roche will jointly advance innovative drug discovery projects The Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) and Roche will collaborate to identify and leverage innovative therapeutic opportunities that address diseases of unmet medical need across several disease areas.

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LDC and Roche will jointly advance innovative drug discovery projects

Dortmund, January 21, 2016 – The Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) and Roche will collaborate to identify and leverage innovative therapeutic opportunities that address diseases of unmet medical need across several disease areas.

Projects will be sourced from the LDC’s academic partners, including leading universities and institutes from the Max Planck Society and the Helmholtz Association, as well as from Roche’s innovation network. The partners will work together to advance projects from as early as target level up to the identification of a preclinical candidate. Over an initial three year period, LDC will act as a translational incubator for Roche and carry out small molecule projects in close collaboration with the scientific inventors and their academic institutions.

“We are delighted to team up with Roche, the world’s largest biotech company,” says Dr Bert Klebl, CEO of the LDC. “We are impressed by their deep expertise across many disease areas and the perfect cultural fit with our team. We are definitely on the same wavelength regarding our approach to early drug discovery and share a mission to transform academic innovation into tangible benefits to patients.”

Upon attainment of a predefined milestone, Roche has option rights to an exclusive license. The terms and conditions of collaboration and licensing will be agreed on a project-by-project basis to ensure a fair balance of investments and potential returns between the partners. Any revenue the LDC may receive from a potential future commercialization will be shared with the academic inventors and collaborating institutions. Roche’s contributions will include research funding and possibly in-kind support required for optimal project progress, such as access to compound libraries.