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Domainex Collaboration on Drug Targets

Friday, 20 March 2009



Domainex today announced a collaboration on new exciting drug discovery programmes with the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre and The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) to identify and develop inhibitors of two recently validated breast cancer targets, tankyrase and IKK-epsilon.


The collaboration will bring together the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre’s and the ICR’s world-class expertise in the genetics, biochemistry and cell biology of breast cancer and Domainex’s outstanding capability to discover innovative drugs using its LeadBuilder hit-finding platform technology and experienced medicinal chemistry team. The objective of the collaboration is to bring forward inhibitors of both targets to the proof of concept stage in breast cancer models and then to partner the programmes with larger organisations for clinical development.


Professor Alan Ashworth, Director of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre at the ICR, said: “We are determined to find a wider range of personalised treatments for breast cancer patients and by working with organisations that are leaders in their field we will do this faster. That is why we are delighted to collaborate with Domainex who will help us turn our research into new drugs for patients.”


Domainex specialises in the provision of molecular biology, biochemistry, and medicinal chemistry services to large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and to academic research groups. The company is also developing a pipeline of pre-clinical drugs and targets.


Dr Eddy Littler, Chief Executive Officer of Domainex, commented: “Domainex is excited about this collaboration with the Breakthrough Centre and the ICR that will lead to treatments for a major disease that affects the lives of many patients and their families. The collaboration validates Domainex’s position as the drug discovery partner of choice for biotech and university groups, and will also greatly enhance Domainex’s internal drug discovery pipeline in oncology.


"Breakthrough, the ICR and Domainex bring complementary skills to the collaboration. The Breakthrough Breast Cancer Centre at the ICR occupies a pre-eminent position in breast cancer research and will enable the collaboration to gain a greater understanding of the role of these two targets in breast cancer as well as access to a number of powerful and unique systems that will allow us to study the biochemistry and cell biology of inhibitors. Domainex will apply its platform technologies, including LeadBuilder and Medicinal Chemistry, to identify robust hits and develop them rapidly into leads. This collaboration will greatly increase the prospect of identifying and developing inhibitors of tankyrase and IKK-epsilon for the treatment of breast cancer patients."




Editors Notes


About Breakthrough Breast Cancer

  • Breakthrough Breast Cancer is the UK’s leading charity committed to fighting breast cancer through research, campaigning and education. In 1999 Breakthrough established the UK’s first dedicated breast cancer research centre. The Breakthrough Toby Robins Breast Cancer Research Centre is housed in the Mary-Jean Mitchell Green building at The Institute of Cancer Research in association with the Royal Marsden Hospital.
  • Under the directorship of Professor Alan Ashworth FRS, the Breakthrough Research Centre now has 120 world-class scientists and clinicians tackling breast cancer from all angles – from understanding the normal growth and development of the breast, how breast cancer arises and how the cancer spreads, to treatment and ultimately disease prevention. Scientists at the Breakthrough Research Centre have a range of expertise and approaches and together they are working towards a common goal: a future free from the fear of breast cancer.
  • Breakthrough is opening three new research units in Edinburgh, London and Manchester during 2008/2009.
  • For more information:

About Domainex


Founded in 2002, Domainex is a privately-owned company with laboratories in Cambridge, England, and offices in the London Bioscience Innovation Centre.


Domainex uses unique and proprietary technologies to resolve common bottlenecks facing the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in the post-genomic era. Major discovery 'gaps' exist between the vast amount of genomic information that is now available; the accessibility of the corresponding proteins for use in target validation and drug discovery; and the identification of robust hits in a cost effective manner.


Domainex has developed a number of platform technologies specifically aimed at enabling biotech or university groups who have exciting new drug targets. Its Combinatorial Domain Hunting (CDH) technology will deliver protein constructs that are soluble, stable, and produced in high-yield - thereby opening up the path to high throughput screening, structural biology, or antibody production. Domainex has also developed LeadBuilder - a virtual screening approach for targets which is specifically aimed at identifying hit molecules that are ideally suited for further development.


The experienced medicinal chemistry team has a proven track record in supporting biotech or university groups by providing expertise to take hit compounds through lead optimisation and on to candidate selection. Several compounds arising from these collaborations are currently in clinical evaluation.


Domainex works with clients on a fee-for-service basis. In 2008, the company secured investment to establish its own internal drug discovery pipeline based upon a number of targets in oncology. These targets are being progressed using Domainex’s platform technologies.

For more information:


The Institute of Cancer Research

The Institute of Cancer Research is Europe’s leading cancer research centre with expert scientists working on cutting edge research. In 2009, the ICR marks its 100 years of groundbreaking research into cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. The ICR is home to the world’s leading academic drug development team which has developed many drugs now used as standard cancer treatments. It continues to be at the forefront of drug development, taking 10 cancer drugs to clinical trial in the past 10 years. The ICR is a charity that relies on voluntary income. It is one of the world’s most cost-effective major cancer research organisations with more than 95p in every £ directly supporting research. For more information visit

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