LUNAC Therapeutics selects XenoGesis as strategic drug discovery partner

XenoGesis has been selected by LUNAC Therapeutics Limited to support them in the discovery of novel anticoagulant therapies that have a reduced risk of bleeding compared to current therapies. LUNAC has been assisted in the selection process by the Medicines Discovery Catapult.

LUNAC Therapeutics is a UK-based drug discovery company focused on the identification and development of advanced anticoagulants with minimal bleeding risk. Towards the end of 2019, LUNAC Therapeutics, a spin-out from the University of Leeds secured £2.65m of Series A funding led by Epidarex, and along with the Medicines Discovery Catapult was awarded £3.14m funding under Innovate UK’s Biomedical Catalyst programme.

The aim of the partnership is to discover a drug that inhibits the protease target, activated Factor XII. This coagulation factor is implicated in the formation of pathological clots, but not the stemming of bleeding, so individuals who lack Factor XII do not exhibit bleeding symptoms unlike those with a deficiency in any other coagulation factor.

The XenoGesis team is providing the DMPK consultancy, PK modelling and dose prediction support, in order to help the team to select the most appropriate compounds to progress through the pre-clinical phase.

Graham Trevitt, Chief Scientific Officer at XenoGesis, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as one of the strategic drug discovery partners to support LUNAC Therapeutics. Our team will bring the needed DMPK consultancy, PK/PK-PD modelling and dose prediction expertise to the project, helping Professor Philippou and her team work towards the identification of novel anticoagulation medicines.”

Sarah Brockbank, Lead Scientist at the Medicines Discovery Catapult, said: “As a member of our Discovery Services Network, which includes 27 expert CROs, XenoGesis is a trusted partner with a strong track record of delivery. I am certain XenoGesis will be able to provide the specialist PK and PK/PD modelling expertise which is vital to progressing development of LUNAC Therapeutic’s novel anticoagulant therapies.”

Prof Helen Philippou, Scientific Founder of LUNAC Therapeutics, said: “There is an urgent need for anticoagulant therapies with reduced bleeding risk. Our research has validated that targeting activated Factor XII may lead to differentiated therapies and a new treatment option for patients.”

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