Pharma Focus Asia

Cedilla and HitGen Announce Research Collaboration Focused on DNA-Encoded Library Based Drug Discovery

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Shanghai Stock Exchange listed company HitGen Inc.announced that it has entered into a research collaboration agreement with Cedilla Therapeutics, Inc. (“Cedilla”), a private biotechnology company developing targeted small molecules for the treatment of cancer and other diseases caused by protein dysregulation. The companies will conduct joint research to identify and develop drug candidates directed to a validated, high-value target in oncology that has remained beyond the reach of previous efforts.

HitGen is a world leading biotech company in DNA encoded library-screening, a high throughput compound screening technology, where more than 100,000 times larger libraries can be used than in traditional drug discovery. The platform thus enables faster identification of innovative drug candidates with improved target specificity and enhanced drug-like characteristics.

Pursuant to the terms of the collaboration agreement, HitGen has successfully applied its DEL technology and discovered program compounds that met certain criteria, and Cedilla has received an exclusive license to these compounds as well as associated IP for further development and commercialization. HitGen will be eligible for milestone payments and sublicensing income from Cedilla as the project progresses, in addition to research payments and upfront license fee.

“HitGen is a perfect partner for us in this program, with their cutting-edge DEL platform for screening. Their technology is well established and is now widely used by leading global pharmaceutical and biotech companies,” said Dr. Alexandra Glucksmann, President and CEO of Cedilla. “With HitGen’s support, we are able to accelerate our ongoing efforts to pursue a breadth of high-value oncology targets that have eluded conventional therapeutic modalities. We are very pleased with the program compounds discovered by HitGen to date, are excited to advance these programs forward as we pursue our mission of delivering profound benefit to patients in areas of high unmet need.”

“We are delighted to enter this collaboration with Cedilla, and believe their unique approach to identifying functionally-relevant proteoforms represents a powerful advance in how we think about treating diseases caused by protein dysregulation,” said Dr. Jin Li, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of HitGen. “We believe the collaboration will reinforce the role and reputation of HitGen’s platform in the rapidly developing field of DEL and further demonstrates the power of our DEL platform to discover novel small molecules against a variety of targets. We are working closely with Cedilla scientists and have seen early success towards generating new small-molecule lead compounds for their research programs to help bring transformative medicines to patients.”

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