Sygnature Discovery, Mironid® Limited, a leader in cell signalling-directed drug discovery and Peak Proteins, have announced they will work closely together to discover new therapies against diseases driven by elevated cyclic AMP (cAMP), such as Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD).
ADPKD is a devastating, life-threatening and currently incurable genetic disorder in which kidney cysts progressively form throughout life. Cyst formation is driven by excessive generation of the cell signalling molecule, cAMP and causes a wide range of health problems including abdominal pain, high blood pressure and urinary tract infections, eventually leading to kidney failure. ADPKD affects around 12.5 million people worldwide, with around 50% requiring treatment for kidney failure by the age of 60.
Professor Miles Houslay, CSO of Mironid®, said, “The cAMP signalling pathway and, in particular, the PDE4 enzyme class, is an under-exploited target class with still so much to offer in the way of novel therapies. My colleagues and I are delighted with this strong support and recognition from Innovate UK. This funding will allow Mironid to leverage its expertise in PDE4 mechanistic biochemistry, together with the advanced capabilities of the UK’s first class life science contract research sector to deliver effective medicines more quickly”.
Dr Simon Hirst, Founder and CEO of Sygnature Discovery commented, “We are delighted to be collaborating with Mironid® and Peak Proteins to discover new high quality chemical starting points for Mironid®’s novel LoAc® molecules. This novel therapeutic approach offers the possibility of developing treatments for ADPKD and other diseases driven by elevated cAMP.”
The £606,000 programme, 70% funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, will expand Mironid®’s repertoire of proprietary LoAc® molecules by discovering new high quality chemical starting points for this novel therapeutic approach. This programme exploits the pioneering work of Professor Miles Houslay, one of the founders of Mironid®, to develop small molecule positive modulators of Phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) enzymes, which break down cAMP, a critical intra-cellular signalling molecule. A high-quality compound library from BioAscent, plus computational modelling and protein X-ray crystallography will be used to generate the next wave of PDE4 regulating molecules unique to Mironid®. These molecules will form the basis of new therapies against diseases driven by elevated cAMP.