Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Rutgers University, The University of North Carolina and RTI International Announce a DOD Award to Develop Novel Inhaled Antibody Drug Conjugates for Tuberculosis

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Rutgers University, The University of North Carolina and RTI International Announce a DOD Award to Develop Novel Inhaled Antibody Drug Conjugates For Tuberculosis

Raleigh – The Department of Defense (DOD) recently awarded $213,372.70 to Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CPI), Rutgers University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and RTI International to develop a new approach to treating tuberculosis (TB) which is an infectious disease generally affecting the lungs in humans and is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) that results in 1.4 million deaths per year.

“The approach we proposed to the DOD uses a method that has been used in cancer treatments in which a small molecule drug is attached to an antibody which specifically targets a cell of interest. The antibody-drug conjugate is then internalized, at which point it releases the drug. By using this approach, we hope to be able to specifically tackle granulomas that harbor the TB bacteria and leave surrounding cells well alone” said Dr. Sean Ekins, CEO of CPI.

“My lab will synthesize the antibody-drug conjugates using drugs that on their own would have great difficulty penetrating the granuloma and therefore have little or no efficacy against TB” said Dr. Joel S. Freundlich, Associate Professor of Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience and Medicine at Rutgers University–New Jersey Medical School. Dr. Freundlich has a chemical biology lab of eleven scientists that utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach to study infectious diseases, with a specific focus on TB.

“We will study the stability of the antibody-drug conjugates and test their efficacy in treating TB in animal models that mimic human TB. This project fits in with my research group’s long standing interest in developing new treatments for TB and our expertise” said Professor Miriam Braunstein. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, UNC School of Medicine at UNC Chapel Hill.

“We also aim to deliver the drug and antibody combination by inhalation much like an asthma inhaler and this leverages our decades of expertise in aerosol drug delivery systems” said Dr. Anthony Hickey, Professor Emeritus, Eshelman School of Pharmacy at UNC Chapel Hill and Distinguished Fellow, Discovery Science and Technology, RTI International.

The project involves a unique collaboration between academic and small business groups to address a critical need, namely developing a potential treatment that could be delivered for a short period in order to eradicate TB.

About Rutgers University

Founded in 1954, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School is the oldest school of medicine in the state. Today it is part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and graduates approximately 170 physicians a year. Dedicated to excellence in education, research, clinical care and community outreach, the medical school comprises 22 academic departments and works with several healthcare partners, including its principal teaching hospital, The University Hospital. Its faculty consists of numerous world-renowned scientists and many of the region’s “top doctors.” New Jersey Medical School hosts more than 50 centers and institutes, including the Public Health Research Institute Center, the Global Tuberculosis Institute and the Neurological Institute of New Jersey. For more information please visit:

njms.rutgers.edu

About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The UNC School of Medicine (SOM) is the state’s largest medical school graduating approximately 180 new physicians each year. It is consistently ranked among the top medical schools in the US and is among the most well-funded for its research efforts. More than half of the school’s 1,700 faculty members served as principal investigators on active research awards in 2016. Two UNC SOM faculty members have earned Nobel Prize awards.

About the RTI International

RTI International is an independent, nonprofit research institute dedicated to improving the human condition. Clients rely on us to answer questions that demand an objective and multidisciplinary approach—one that integrates expertise across the social and laboratory sciences, engineering, and international development. We believe in the promise of science, and we are inspired every day to deliver on that promise for the good of people, communities, and businesses around the world.

For more information, visit www.rti.org.

About Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. performs research and development on innovative therapeutics for multiple rare and infectious diseases. We partner with academics or companies to identify and translate early preclinical to clinical stage assets. We have considerable experience of preclinical and computational approaches to drug discovery and toxicity prediction. For more information, please visit http://www.collaborationspharma.com/

For further information, please contact :

Sean Ekins, Ph.D., D.Sc.

CEO and Founder,

840 Main Campus Drive, Lab 3510

Raleigh, NC 27606

collaborationspharma@gmail.com

Tel 215-687-1320

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to partner with Washington University in St. Louis on Batten Disease

Raleigh, North Carolina – National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at the National Institutes of Health has awarded $229,560 to Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CPI) to initiate a project at Washington University in St. Louis aimed at developing an enzyme replacement therapy to treat a devastating childhood neurological disorder known as infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (infantile Batten disease, or CLN1). The company will partner with noted Batten disease researcher Jonathan Cooper, PhD, a professor of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine.
This treatment approach, originally funded by Taylor’s Tale and NINDS, began in the lab of Sandra Hofmann, MD, PhD, at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas. Using these funds, Dr. Hofmann performed extensive development of the protein and preclinical assessment. 
Moving forward, CPI will further develop the PPT1 enzyme that is critical for CLN1 patients, setting the stage for future clinical studies and the development of a potential treatment. CPI received Orphan Drug Designation from the Food and Drug Administration for this approach in 2017. 
“The concept of finding rare disease projects like this that were ready for translation originally prompted me to found CPI in 2016,” said Sean Ekins, PhD, chief executive officer of CPI. “It epitomizes our goal to see treatments for ultra-rare diseases that have been developed in academia continue across the valley of death with the support of small business funding from the NIH-NINDS. This funding also provides a catalyst to pursue critical studies that could indicate commercial viability of the enzyme replacement therapy. We look forward to working with Professor Jonathan Cooper and his team to further develop this potential treatment.” 
Taylor’s Tale, a 501(c)3 public charity based in Charlotte, North Carolina, funded Dr. Hofmann’s work beginning in 2007 and has continued to make an impact on the treatment landscape for CLN1. 
 “This significant step forward means a great deal for families living with the disease, and we are happy to see the continuation of work we supported from the beginning,” said Sharon King, president of Taylor’s Tale. 
The Batten Disease Support and Research Association (BDSRA), North America’s largest support and research association dedicated to Batten disease, has funded and advocated for treatments and family support services since its founding in 1987. 
“We are excited to see another company helping to develop treatments for Batten disease,” said Executive Director Margie Frazier, PhD. “We recognize the challenges during this process and the opportunities that would come with a treatment, just as we have seen with the recent approval of an enzyme replacement therapy, Brineura by BioMarin, for another form of the disease.” 
 “We are very grateful to NIH-NINDS for their willingness to fund a treatment for an ultra-rare disease and for the encouragement and support of Taylor’s Tale and BDSRA,” Ekins said. “Our vision is to collaborate with leading academic groups and foundations to develop treatments for rare diseases like this and, in the meantime, industrialize the process.”
About Batten Disease
The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) with a prevalence of approximately 1.5 to nine per million population. The infantile onset form termed CLN1 is characterized by progressive intellectual and motor deterioration, seizures, loss of vision and early death. Symptoms are caused by mutations in the CLN1 gene, which codes for the lysosomal enzyme palmitoyl-protein thioesterase-1 (PPT1). CLN1 disease usually presents between six and 24 months of age. Each year, two to three children with this form are identified. 

About BDSRA
BDSRA is dedicated to funding research for treatments and cures, providing family support services, advancing education, raising awareness, and advocating for legislative action. Founded in 1987, by parents seeking to build a network for those diagnosed with Batten disease, BDSRA is now the largest support and research organization dedicated to Batten disease in North America. BDSRA believes that to effectively unravel the mysteries of Batten disease, the worlds of medical science, research, and families must work together toward a common goal: discover treatments and cures while assuring a better quality of life for those living with the disease. https://bdsra.org/
About Taylor’s Tale
Taylor’s Tale is a leader in the fight against infantile Batten disease and other rare diseases. Founded in honor of Charlotte’s Taylor King, Taylor’s Tale raises funds for research, drives public awareness and serves as an advocate for the rare disease community, which includes approximately 25 million Americans and 350 million people worldwide. The public charity has contributed to promising research that will help lead to treatments for Batten disease and other rare diseases. Taylor’s Tale also inspired North Carolina HB 823 (now Taylor’s Law), which in 2015 established the nation’s first Rare Disease Advisory Council at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and has sparked progress in other states across the nation. Nationally, Taylor’s Tale partners with organizations like Global Genes and the EveryLife Foundation for Rare Disease and has helped advance important federal legislation in the fight against rare disease. For more information: www.taylorstale.org.

About Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. performs research and development on innovative therapeutics for multiple rare and infectious diseases. We partner with academics or companies to identify and translate early preclinical to clinical stage assets. We have considerable experience of preclinical and computational approaches to drug discovery and toxicity prediction. For more information, please visit http://www.collaborationspharma.com/

For further information, please contact:

Contact information Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
Judy Martin Finch, director of media relations
314-286-0105
martinju@wustl.edu

Contact information BDSRA
Batten Disease Support and Research Association
2780 Airport Drive, Suite 342
Columbus, Ohio 43219
Toll-Free: (800) 448-4570
Fax:  (866) 648-8718

Contact information About Taylor’s Tale

Laura King Edwards
Co-Founder and Vice President, Taylor’s Tale
laura@taylorstale.org
704-577-0160

Contact information CPI

Sean Ekins, Ph.D., D.Sc.
CEO and Founder,
Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
840 Main Campus Drive, Lab 3510,
Raleigh, NC 27606
collaborationspharma@gmail.com
Tel 215-687-1320

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Announces $1.5 Million Award to Develop Machine Learning Software for Drug Discovery

Centennial Campus-based Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CPI) has been awarded a $1,499,769 grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) to develop new machine learning software that could make public bioactivity data more accessible to scientists so they can generate computational models to facilitate drug discovery and accelerate their research.

The growing importance of artificial intelligence is visible by the growth in companies and increasing deals over the past year between pharma and smaller companies using machine learning to assist in drug discovery. Additionally, the continuing steady growth of publicly available structure-activity data poses a considerable challenge as they are generally not readily accessible for machine learning software.

“Collaborations Pharmaceuticals has developed a prototype of Assay Central software to enable data curation and machine learning model building and sharing. We have used this tool with a wide variety of structure activity data from sources both public and private for rare or neglected disease targets with many collaborators and for internal projects. We are excited by this award as it will allow us to perform a thorough evaluation and selection of additional machine learning algorithms (such as Deep Learning and Support Vector Machines) and different molecular descriptors. It will also fund development of our software to enable molecule selection, automated design or optimization,”said Dr. Sean Ekins, CPI CEO and Founder.

“We are so grateful to be able to partner with Collaborations Pharmaceuticals. This work is tremendously meaningful to us in our search for rare disease treatments,” said Audrey Davidow Lapidus, president, Pitt Hopkins Research Foundation.

“The utility of having such a tool as Assay Central readily available will empower scientists to leverage their data to help with drug discovery tasks. It can also be utilized in consumer product areas for toxicology assessment as well as for human and animal health applications. We are very grateful to NIGMS for supporting this work which will enable us to increase the number of collaborations we can support for neglected and rare diseases. It will also allow us to create new positions in our company,” said Dr. Ekins.

CPI has been an NC State University Partner since locating on Centennial Campus in early 2017.  The company actively collaborates with NC State researchers and students in areas including chemistry, toxicology and food safety.

About the Pitt Hopkins Research Foundation

The mission of the Pitt Hopkins Research Foundation (PHRF) is to support research dedicated to finding a treatment, and an eventual cure for Pitt Hopkins Syndrome and other similar disorders. The PHRF is also dedicated to supporting the Pitt Hopkins community with resource recommendations, parental support and the latest medical information. For more information, visit https://pitthopkins.org/.

About Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. performs research and development on innovative therapeutics for multiple rare and neglected diseases. CPI partners with academics or companies to identify and translate early preclinical to clinical stage assets. CPI has experience of preclinical and computational approaches to drug discovery and toxicity prediction. For more information, visit http://www.collaborationspharma.com/.

https://news.centennial.ncsu.edu/collaborations-pharmaceuticals-inc-announces-award-to-develop-new-machine-learning-software-for-drug-discovery/

 

New Funding Award To Support Research To Fight Tuberculosis

 

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School announce second NIH award to develop treatments for tuberculosis.

FUQUAY-VARINA, NC -- The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) recently awarded $225,000 to Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CPI) to initiate a second partnership – “Structure-guided optimization of an in vivo active small molecule antitubercular targeting KasA” - with Rutgers University aimed at developing a new series of compounds for tuberculosis (TB), which is an infectious disease generally affecting the lungs in humans and is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb).

Globally, there are 10.4 million new TB cases and 1.4 million deaths per annum. Despite the availability of effective treatments for the disease, the combined impacts of drug resistance and morbidity of patients co-infected with HIV/AIDS have stimulated research on new quicker acting treatments efficacious against drug-resistant infections that are less toxic when used with anti-retroviral regimens for HIV/AIDS.

“This new project resulted from a previously NIH funded U19 grant that identified the target for a compound published by GlaxoSmithKline,” said Dr. Joel S. Freundlich, Associate Professor of pharmacology, physiology & neuroscience and medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS). “We then pursued a structure-based design strategy to come up with new molecules in my laboratory that have significant translational potential.”

Dr. Freundlich has a chemical biology lab of eleven scientists that utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach to study infectious diseases, with a specific focus on tuberculosis. The project has received critical scientific contributions from faculty researchers with NJMS, including Dr. David Alland, Associate Dean, Department of Medicine, and Dr. Matthew Neiditch, Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Molecular Genetics, who identified the target and co-crystallized various molecules bound to the protein, respectively. 

“Our goal is to optimize a novel candidate series to ensure that a generated lead compound is poised for drug combination testing in preclinical mouse models,” said Dr. Ekins, CEO of Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “My company is developing a pipeline of treatments for neglected and rare diseases through collaborations with academic laboratories. This has enabled us to develop compounds for Ebola, Chagas disease, HIV and TB.”

“This work is a clear example of the productivity of our U19 project team, which can in turn attract outside companies to collaborate with us to develop novel antibacterials,” said Dr. David Perlin, Executive Director, Professor at the NJMS Public Health Research Institute Center and principal investigator, NIH/NIAID Center of Excellence in Translational Research.

“We are very grateful to NIAID for this additional funding to develop new antibacterials” said Dr. Ekins.

About Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Founded in 1954, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School is the oldest school of medicine in the state.  Today it is part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and graduates approximately 170 physicians a year. In addition to providing the MD degree, the school offers MD/PhD, MD/MPH and MD/MBA degrees through collaborations with other institutions of higher education. Dedicated to excellence in education, research, clinical care and community outreach, the medical school comprises 20 academic departments and works with several healthcare partners, including its principal teaching hospital, University Hospital. Its faculty consists of numerous world-renowned scientists and many of the region’s “top doctors.” Home to the nation’s oldest student-run clinic, New Jersey Medical School hosts more than 50 centers and institutes, including the Public Health Research Institute Center, the Global Tuberculosis Institute and the Neurological Institute of New Jersey. For more information please visit: njms.rutgers.edu.

About Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. performs research and development on innovative therapeutics for multiple rare and infectious diseases. We partner with academics or companies to identify and translate early preclinical to clinical stage assets. We have considerable experience of preclinical and computational approaches to drug discovery and toxicity prediction. For more information, please visit http://www.collaborationspharma.com/

Scientists from SRI International and Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Identify Potential New Ebola Virus Therapy

Findings Published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy

MENLO PARK, Calif.— November 7th, 2017 —  In the search for drugs that are effective against Ebola virus, scientists from SRI International and Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc., led a study that used machine learning methods to identify tilorone dihydrochloride as a potential new inhibitor of viral infection. The low molecular weight immunomodulatory drug has shown promising efficacy with 100 percent survival in an Ebola virus disease model.

The authors of the study, published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy describe the pharmacokinetic properties and anti-Ebola activities of tilorone dihydrochloride, which can be given orally and is already used as an antiviral against influenza, acute respiratory viral infection, viral hepatitis, viral encephalitis, myelitis, and other diseases in Russia.

Only a small number of potential drugs have shown efficacy against Ebola in mammalian disease models, and the identification of tilorone provides an option with a new mode of action and broad-spectrum activities. The anti-Ebola efficacy of the drug and its history of safe use in humans make it an excellent candidate for future development as a standalone drug or in combination with one of the current clinical stage anti-Ebola drugs.

“Tilorone was one of three molecules that had been previously identified using a Bayesian Machine learning model and found to be active in vitro against the Ebola virus, and now represents the first of these to be tested in vivo. This work was based on an initial high throughput screen published by SRI International and demonstrates how such data can be used to help develop new drugs,” said Sean Ekins, CEO of Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

“Further preclinical investigations will be undertaken to understand how the compound is working and we will also use additional disease models that better replicate the human disease,” said Peter Madrid, Ph.D., director of Discovery Technologies, SRI International. “Tilorone has the clear advantages of widespread availability, broad-spectrum antiviral potential and a track record of safe human use for other viral diseases,” This represents an example of computationally-driven drug repurposing that can lead to in vivo active molecules.

 

About SRI Biosciences

SRI Biosciences, a division of SRI International, integrates basic biomedical research with drug and diagnostics discovery and preclinical and clinical development. SRI International, a research center headquartered in Menlo Park, California, creates world-changing solutions to make people safer, healthier, and more productive.

About Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

 Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. performs research and development on innovative therapeutics for multiple rare and infectious diseases. We partner with leading academics, companies and foundations to identify and translate early preclinical to clinical stage assets. We have considerable experience in preclinical and computational approaches to drug discovery and toxicity prediction. For more information, please visit www.collaborationspharma.com 

Contact:

Sean Ekins, Ph.D., D.Sc., CEO and Founder, 

collaborationspharma@gmail.com 

cell:215-687-1320
office: 919-515-5941 

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R21TR001718, the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No HHSN2722011000221 (SRI PI – Jon Mirsalis) and HHSN272201000040I, task order HHSN27200011 (UTMB PI – David Beasley). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of   the National Institutes of Health.

https://www.sri.com/newsroom/press-releases/scientists-sri-international-and-collaborations-pharmaceuticals-inc-identify

NIH UH2 award to develop a new drug for Chagas Disease

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc., UC San Diego and University of Sao Paulo (USP), Sao Paulo, Brazil, Receive NIH UH2 Award “Repurposing pyronaridine as a treatment for Chagas disease” 

September 13th, 2017: Raleigh – The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recently awarded $607,054 to Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CPI), University of California San Diego and University of Sao Paolo, Sao Paulo, Brazil, to repurpose pyronaridine as a treatment for Chagas Disease. 

Chagas disease is a neglected tropical disease caused by the kinetoplastid parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (T. Cruzi) and currently affecting 6-7 million people. The disease is endemic to Latin America but is increasingly found in North America and Europe, primarily through immigration. There may be more than 300,000 people in the U.S. with Chagas. About 30% of those infected develop cardiomyopathy and 10% will develop a digestive syndrome. Both pathological manifestations progress, ultimately leading to death. Organ transplantation is the only available remedy. There is currently only one FDA approved drug which has side effects.

“This academic-industrial collaboration between UC San Diego, Fundação Faculdade de Medicina, Sao Paulo, Brazil and Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. aims to repurpose a drug that’s already approved in Europe for malaria but not approved in the U.S. for any indication.” said Sean Ekins, CEO of CPI.  

“We identified this compound in an earlier collaboration that involved using public data and machine learning to predict compounds with activity for testing,” said Dr. Jair Siqueira-Neto, assistant professor in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at UC San Diego. “When we tested pyronaridine in vitro and in vivo in the acute infection model, it was very efficacious.”  

“Our goals of this study are to assess whether pyronaridine can be used as a single or combination therapy in chronic models of Chagas disease before ultimately designing a clinical trial,” said Professor Ester Sabino, USP, Brazil. 

“We are immensely honored that NCATS decided to fund this work as we try to develop this treatment that is derived from a computational approach to drug repurposing, a strategy we are utilizing for other neglected and rare diseases,” said Dr. Ekins. 

About UC San Diego - At the University of California San Diego, we constantly push boundaries and challenge expectations. Established in 1960, UC San Diego has been shaped by exceptional scholars who aren’t afraid to take risks and redefine conventional wisdom. Today, as one of the top 15 research universities in the world, we are driving innovation and change to advance society, propel economic growth and make our world a better place. Learn more at www.ucsd.edu.  

University of Sao Paulo (USP) - The University of Sao Paulo is the largest higher education and research institution in Brazil.  USP is composed of seven campuses that offers 230 undergraduate courses and 57,000 undergraduate students. Graduate studies at USP, with more than 500 fields of concentration areas (MAs and PhDs) and approximately 38,000 students, are an international point of reference for Science and Technology in Brazil.   

About Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.- Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. performs research and development on innovative therapeutics for multiple rare and infectious diseases. We partner with leading academics, companies and foundations to identify and translate early preclinical to clinical stage assets. We have considerable experience in preclinical and computational approaches to drug discovery and toxicity prediction. For more information, please visit www.collaborationspharma.com 

For further information, please contact: 

Sean Ekins, Ph.D., D.Sc., CEO and Founder, 

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 
840 Main Campus Drive, Lab 3510
Raleigh, NC 27606 

collaborationspharma@gmail.com 

cell:215-687-1320
office: 919-515-5941 

 

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Center For Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number UH2TR002084. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of   the National Institutes of Health.

 

NIH R01 Award to Develop Next Generation Non-nucleoside RT HIV Inhibitors

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Research Center of Biotechnology RAS, Institute of Biochemistry, Moscow, Russia and the University of Maryland Announce NIH R01 Award to Develop a New generation of non-nucleoside RT HIV inhibitors avoiding HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders

29th March 2017: Fuquay Varina – The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) recently awarded a total of $596,379 to Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Research Center of Biotechnology RAS, Institute of Biochemistry, Moscow, Russia and the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland to identify new non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase anti-Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) compounds.

HIV infection, the virus causing acquired immune deficiency syndrome, is one of the most important pathogens affecting mankind. Predominantly a disease of poverty, HIV affects young adults in their most productive years and hence also carries a large economic burden. Numbers published by the World Health Organization are bleak: in 2015, approximately 2.1 million new cases of HIV were reported and over 1.1 million people died from the disease. HIV can be managed, albeit with a cocktail of 3-4 antiretroviral drugs that need to be taken regularly.  Side effects are a concern for these drugs that need to be taken for decades. A large number of patients develop HIV associated neurological disorders (HAND) which results in minor problems with memory to severe dementia-like symptoms.

New anti-HIV compounds, selected specifically for their ability to overcome the growing list of HIV strains that are resistant to established drugs, are beginning to populate a small pipeline of potential future drugs but there is a need for more due to the potential to fail in the clinic or earlier.

“This academic-industrial collaboration between the Research Center of Biotechnology RAS, Institute of Human Virology, and Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. aims to identify new non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase anti-HIV compounds. We will also determine the suitability of the compounds for treating patients with HIV associated neurological disorders which may provide a clinical advantage.” said Sean Ekins, CEO CPI.

“From a screening library of several thousand compounds, we found 80 hits that display relatively potent anti-HIV activity. Combining traditional genetic and cutting-edge analytical tools, we have already identified the virus targets for some of these hits.” stated Dr. Vadim Makarov, Research Center of Biotechnology RAS, Institute of Biochemistry.

“We are excited to start this collaborative effort towards the development of new antiretrovirals that are active against drug resistant mutants, which constitute a problem in the treatment of HIV-positive patients; as an added value, we will evaluate compounds for activity in test systems that are relevant to neurological complications of AIDS” said Dr. Alfredo Garzino-Demo, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

“We are very grateful to NIAID for funding this collaborative RO1 and look forward to demonstrating how we can cost-effectively collaborate to develop commercially viable drug candidates.  We have a world class team of researchers with deep expertize in HIV chemistry and biology involved, which is incredibly exciting and we hope to use our drug discovery and development expertise to help translate the research quickly,” said Dr. Ekins.

 

About Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. performs research and development on innovative therapeutics for multiple rare and infectious diseases. We partner with leading academics, companies and foundations to identify and translate early preclinical to clinical stage assets. We have considerable experience in preclinical and computational approaches to drug discovery and toxicity prediction. For more information, please visit http://www.collaborationspharma.com/

 

About Research Center of Biotechnology RAS, Institute of Biochemistry, Moscow, Russia

The Federal State Institution “Federal Research Centre “Fundamentals of Biotechnology” of the Russian Academy of Sciences” was established in 2014, by the reorganization of the A.N. Bach Institute of Biochemistry RAS via inclusion of S.N. Winogradsky Institute of Microbiology RAS and the Center of Bioengineering RAS. The strategic goal of the Research Center of Biotechnology RAS is to create scientific and technological basis for the bioeconomy development, the integrated use of renewable raw materials and waste,  the design of new bioactive compounds, the improvement of efficiency and sustainability of agricultural production, the insurance of food safety and quality. For more information, please visit http://www.fbras.ru/en/

 

About the Institute of Human Virology


Formed in 1996 as a partnership between the State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore, the University System of Maryland, and the University of Maryland Medical System, the IHV is an institute of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and is home to some of the most globally-recognized and world-renowned experts in all of virology. The IHV combines the disciplines of basic research, epidemiology, and clinical research in a concerted effort to speed the discovery of diagnostics and therapeutics for a wide variety of chronic and deadly viral and immune disorders - most notably, HIV the virus that causes AIDS. For more information, visit www.ihv.org and follow us on Twitter @IHVmaryland.

 

For further information, please contact:

Sean Ekins, Ph.D., D.Sc.

CEO and Founder,

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
840 Main Campus Drive, Lab 3510
Raleigh, NC 27606

collaborationspharma@gmail.com

cell:215-687-1320
office:
919-515-5941

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Announce NIH Award to Develop New Software for Drug Discovery

Fuquay Varina – The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) recently awarded $149,999 to Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CPI) to develop software that could make public data more amenable to those scientists who want to use it to build computational models to help their research.

There are massive publically accessible databases that include a broad variety of disease targets and absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicology (ADMET) properties that are not in a form that is immediately ready for machine learning model building or accessible for use by small research and development (R&D) organizations that do not have their own in-house cheminformatics teams. This project will compile a comprehensive collection of these datasets (e.g. databases like PubChem, ChEMBL etc) for structure-activity data. This will enable the user to quickly and automatically use machine learning models for various targets and properties that could be of value for drug discovery.

“Being able to use transparent computational models simultaneously for visualizing activity trends for multiple targets (both diseases and ADMET) removes the burden of curation or purchasing and maintaining expensive software, and drastically simplifies the addition of new data. It also represents a new frontier of drug discovery as a world of small, agile distributed R&D organizations has access to valuable public datasets that can inform their research. Such computational models will assist in drug repurposing efforts internally and with our collaborators while likely identifying new compounds for a wide array of drug discovery projects” said Sean Ekins, CEO CPI.

 “We are very grateful to NIGMS for funding so we can illustrate how computational approaches can be used to repurpose drugs already approved for other uses and instead use for neglected and rare diseases” said Dr. Ekins.

About Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. performs research and development on innovative therapeutics for multiple rare and infectious diseases. We partner with leading academics, companies and foundations to identify and translate early preclinical to clinical stage assets. We have considerable experience in preclinical and computational approaches to drug discovery and toxicity prediction. For more information, please visit http://www.collaborationspharma.com/

 

For further information, please contact

Sean Ekins, Ph.D., D.Sc.

CEO and Founder

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

320 N Judd Parkway NE, Suite 217,

Fuquay Varina, NC 27526

collaborationspharma@gmail.com

cell:215-687-1320
office: 919-762-0084

10th Nov 2016- Antimalarial being tested as possible Ebola virus drug

CPI and Texas Biomed announce NIH award to develop a treatment for Ebola

 

Fuquay Varina, N.C. (November 10, 2016) - The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) recently awarded $596,533.00 to Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CPI) to initiate a partnership with Texas Biomedical Research Institute aimed at repurposing an antimalarial for use against the Ebola virus.

Since 2014, the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa has resulted in 28,657 suspected cases and 11,325 deaths (according to WHO statistics) and highlighted the need for broad-spectrum antiviral drugs for this and other emerging viruses. Data from a published large scale high throughput screen performed by SRI International and Texas Biomedical Research Institute was used to create machine learning models that identified 3 compounds active against the virus in vitro (in a lab, outside of a living organism). This earlier work had suggested that antimalarial compounds, as well as other classes of approved drugs could be of interest for repurposing.

"We used Bayesian machine learning models based on the earlier published dataset to screen a library of more than 2000 drugs and drug-like molecules, which then lead to the discovery that of the 3 compounds identified, a relatively new antimalarial called pyronaridine, approved in Europe had promising activity in vitro and could be worthy of testing in vivo (in a living organism) against the Ebola virus" said Sean Ekins, CEO CPI.

"My lab has screened thousands of compounds against Ebola virus," said Dr. Robert Davey, Interim Chair of Texas Biomed's Department of Virology and Immunology. "This particular compound, pyronaridine, is promising because it is already an approved drug in Europe, has been used in thousands of patients and may have favorable molecular properties that could speed up its transition to clinical testing. We do not currently know the target of the three compounds and there is still considerable research needed."

Dr. Davey is interested in understanding how viruses like Ebola virus penetrate the cell membrane and establish infection. In addition, Dr. Davey's laboratory has developed safe, efficient, high-throughput screening techniques for Ebola virus and performs contract work on testing drugs and compounds against Ebola virus infection in the biosafety level-4 maximum containment laboratory. This work has resulted in exciting findings towards potential drug candidates to combat Ebola virus.

"This collaboration involves Texas Biomedical Research Institute, Stanford Research International and Rutgers University, and we are very grateful to NCATS for funding so we can illustrate how computational approaches can be used to repurpose drugs already approved for other uses and instead use for neglected diseases" said Dr. Ekins.

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About Texas Biomedical Research Institute

Texas Biomed is one of the world's leading independent biomedical research institutions dedicated to advancing health worldwide through innovative biomedical research. Texas Biomed partners with hundreds of researchers and institutions around the world to develop vaccines and therapeutics against viral pathogens causing AIDS, hepatitis, herpes, hemorrhagic fevers and parasitic diseases responsible for malaria and schistosomiasis. The Institute also has programs in the genetics of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, psychiatric disorders and other diseases. Texas Biomed is home to the Southwest National Primate Research Center, one of seven NIH-supported primate research centers in the United States. For more information on Texas Biomed, go to http://www.TxBiomed.org.

About Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. performs research and development on innovative therapeutics for multiple rare and infectious diseases. We partner with leading academics and companies to identify and translate early preclinical to clinical stage assets. We have considerable experience in preclinical and computational approaches to drug discovery and toxicity prediction. For more information, please visit http://www.collaborationspharma.com/