OXFORD and Nottingham UK, 06 FEBRUARY 2019: Pathios Therapeutics (“Pathios”), an innovative biotech company focused on the development of first in class therapies for autoimmune diseases and immuno-oncology and Sygnature Discovery (“Sygnature”), jointly announce a strategic partnership to accelerate Pathios’ drug discovery and development programmes.
As part of the agreement, Pathios and Sygnature will collaborate on an integrated drug discovery programme against a novel G Protein-Coupled Receptor (GPCR) target. Specifically, Sygnature are providing their industry leading expertise in GPCR bioscience and medicinal chemistry to expand Pathios’ current hit-to-lead programme. Sygnature are also deploying their computational chemistry, library design and synthesis and medium throughput screening capability to broaden Pathios’ hit finding. As part of this agreement, Sygnature will receive equity in addition to fees.
Pathios Therapeutics brings together cutting-edge European science and a leading drug discovery and development team to modulate the activity of GPR65, a pH sensing GPCR. This drug target is characteristic of certain T helper 17 (Th17) cell populations which have been shown to contribute significantly to the pathology of autoimmune conditions, such as ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. In addition, recently published studies have demonstrated GPR65 drives tumour associated macrophages (TAM) to adopt a phenotype that supports cancer immune evasion.
Tom McCarthy, Executive Chairman and Co-founder of Pathios Therapeutics Limited, commented: “We founded Pathios to build on emerging science that demonstrated GPR65 sits at the nexus of autoimmune disease and immuno-oncology as this receptor links pathology caused by a low pH environment. The ultimate aim is to block the pathological process that GPR65 initiates without interfering with the physiological role of this receptor. In addition to developing potent and selective drugs to modulate GPR65, we are continuing to broaden the understanding of the fundamental biological processes that link to GPR65’s effects in Th17 cells, TAMs and other cell types. Our team has worked closely with Sygnature in the past and know they have the deep experience, expertise and state-of-the-art drug discovery and development infrastructure to drive our programme forward. I’m delighted on this rare occasion Sygnature also chose to invest in Pathios and expand our GPR65 drug discovery efforts while we explore Series A funding opportunities”.
Simon Hirst, CEO of Sygnature, added: “We are extremely pleased to take this exceptional opportunity to partner with, and invest in Pathios on their drug discovery projects. Based on our diligence activities, we are excited about the potential for GPR65 modulation to be central to new treatments for autoimmune disease and a critical mechanism of action in next generation immuno-oncology drugs targeting the tumour micro-environment. We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Tom and the rest of Pathios’ tremendously talented team again and contribute to the potential positive impact their therapeutics will have on patients’ lives”.