NEDP in the news

New England Discovery Partners Secures STTR Grant

New England Discovery Partners team up with Yale School of Medicine to develop novel small molecule drugs that combat severe viral disease caused by mosquito-transmitted viruses. The drugs are designed to specifically target those human proteins that the viruses need to successfully establish infection. The drugs will have broad-spectrum activity against multiple medically important flaviviruses including West Nile virus, Dengue virus and Zika virus. This work stems from a multidisciplinary collaboration with expertise in viral genetics, drug discovery, and medicinal chemistry and a team composed of Dr. Joseph Contessa of Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Jan Carette of Stanford, and Dr. Michael Van Zandt from Branford’s New England Discovery Partners (https://nedp.com).

The group has been awarded a small business technology transfer (STTR) grant of $600,000 from the National Institutes of Health in order to advance this approach for generating new medicines to treat infectious diseases.

Patent Application Awarded for Resolvin-Based Therapeutic Agents

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted US Patent No. 10,130,719 which provids composition of matter patent protection for TP-317, a novel derivative of Resolvin E1 (RvE1) for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Resolvins, are endogenous lipid autacoids that play a critical role in regulating inflammation resolution and tissue repair throughout the body. By delivering therapeutic doses of Resolvins to activate these intrinsic pathways, the drug candidate offers a new approach for treating inflammatory disease by activating intrinsic inflammation resolution pathways without compromising immune function.

This work has been completed as part of a sponsored research collaboration with Thetis Pharmaceuticals.

RNA-Based Therapeutics: Discovery of Novel Small Molecule Inhibitors of the Group II Intron

Medicinal chemists at New England Discovery Partners have co-authored a ground-breaking paper on novel RNA-based small molecule antimicrobials. While working in collaboration with Professor Anna Marie Pyle at Yale University, a team of medicinal chemists at NEDP have discovered a novel series of group II intron inhibitors for treatment of fungal infections.

This work demonstrates that biologically important RNA molecules can be targeted with high specificity, potency and efficacy using the tools of medicinal chemistry and microbiology. This promising new class of antimicrobials, which targets a fungal-specific RNA processing mechanism, is likely to be far less toxic to humans than existing types of therapy. Although work still needs to be done, this first-generation series of inhibitors already have potencies comparable to amphotericin B, the current standard of care.

This important work, which was published in Nature Chemical Biology (Fedorova et al, (2018) 14, 1073-1078), has been the subject of commentary in Chemical & Engineering News, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News and other media outlets (see links below).

This work was generously funded through a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant from the NIH, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (Grant 1R43AI115951-01A1).

Published Paper: Small molecules that target group II introns are potent antifungal agents
Olga Fedorova, G. Erik Jagdmann, Rebecca L. Adams, Lin Yuan, Michael C. Van Zandt and Anna Marie Pyle
Nature Chemical Biology 2018 Vol 14, pages 1073–1078.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30323219

Palacino, “The splice is right” J. News and Views in Nature Chem. Biol. (2018).
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30323218

Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, “Small molecules targeting a tertiary RNA structure fight fungi”
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30482965

Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News: “Fungal RNAs targeted”
https://www.genengnews.com/news/fungal-rnas-targeted-by-small-molecule-drugs/

Chemical & Engineering News: “Targeting RNA’s tertiary structure”
https://cen.acs.org/pharmaceuticals/drug-discovery/Targeting-RNAs-tertiary-structure/96/i43

Thetis Pharmaceuticals Extends Research Collaboration with NEDP for 6th Straight Year

Thetis Pharmaceuticals, a privately-held biopharmaceutical company developing novel small molecule therapies based on a class of potent pro-resolving lipid mediators known as Resolvins, extended it collaboration with New England Discovery Partners for the sixth straight year.

Frank Sciavolino, Ph.D., co-founder, president and chief scientific officer of Thetis commented, “New England Discovery Partners has played a critical role in the success of our company. Michael Van Zandt and the team have done a magnificent job developing new innovative syntheses that will enable cost-effective, large-scale production of these highly complex molecules.”

Resolvins, part of the superfamily of Specialized Pro-Resolving Lipid Mediators (SPMs), are endogenous lipid autacoids that play a critical role in regulating inflammation resolution and tissue repair throughout the body. By delivering therapeutic doses of Resolvins to activate these intrinsic pathways, the drug candidate offers a new approach to treating inflammatory disease by activating intrinsic inflammation resolution pathways without compromising immune function.

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