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GENFIT and BICOLL announce the identification of active compounds for inflammatory diseases
First candidates de-orphenize nuclear receptor in their joint project Olnorme
Lille (France), Cambridge (Massachusetts, United States), September 1st, 2009 – GENFIT (Alternext: ALGFT; ISIN: FR0004163111), a biopharmaceutical company at the forefront of drug discovery and development, focusing on the early diagnosis and preventive treatment of cardiometabolic and neurodegenerative diseases, and BICOLL GmbH, a biopharmaceutical drug discovery company specializing in high-tech natural product chemistry to identify novel small molecules for drug discovery and related innovative fields, today announce successful preliminary results of their joint research project "OLNORME: Occurrence of novel Ligands for a Nuclear Orphan Receptor in plant Metabolites". First active and confirmed hits for a class of new drugs were identified and their structures elucidated.
OLNORME is currently an important drug research project at GENFIT, launched in 2007. It is based on the screening of ProfilesTM from BICOLL’s highly diversified library of plant metabolites. The project aims at identifying promising compounds, which will serve as hits for a class of new drugs. These drug candidates will hold great potential for therapeutic use - as a first priority in inflammation related diseases including cardiometabolic and neurodegenerative disorders. Further development up to clinical phase II will be executed by GENFIT. More than 12,000 Profiles TM from plants (equals around 100.000 different small molecules) have been submitted by BICOLL to GENFIT's robust screening system.
“Besides their use in classical inflammatory diseases, the potential role of these now identified active compounds in the therapeutic areas of cardiometabolic and neurodegenerative diseases targeted by Genfit present exciting possibilities for innovative drug candidates,” comments Dr. Christian Haug, Managing Director of BICOLL and Project Coordinator for OLNORME at BICOLL. “GENFIT has developed a very robust screening system with a signal-to-noise ratio which enabled the identification of natural products with activities as potential nuclear receptor modulators,” he continues.
“For the search of orphan nuclear receptor ligands, we decided to expand our screening of chemical libraries to include natural products,” says Dean W. Hum, CSO of GENFIT. “But the screening of either pure natural compounds or unpurified extract libraries seemed to be time- and cost-intensive. BICOLL’s idea of using pooled and fractionated small molecule collections, derived from endemic Asian plants shortens our screening process and can successfully identify Hit compounds, which is well demonstrated within the first phase of our joint project. BICOLL’s approach with Profiles™ is amenable to quantitative HTS methods (primary screen and hit confirmation), and allowed us to significantly decrease the number of data points.”
Jean-François Mouney, CEO of GENFIT, is happy to announce that “the results of the OLNORME collaboration represent an important advancement in one of our drug discovery programs, which is currently progressing very well in the hit-to-lead optimization phase. The identification of natural products active on this orphan nuclear receptor provides a novel class of innovative compounds with great potential to treat cardiometabolic and neurodegenerative diseases including atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer disease.”
BICOLL is a biopharmaceutical company, offering pre-clinical support in the area of Drug Discovery from Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry. Dedicated to the discovery and optimization of the highest quality lead compounds, BICOLL provides an efficient, multi-disciplinary approach to drug discovery. With outstanding expertise in high tech natural product chemistry and validated experience in medicinal chemistry, BICOLL increases quality and quantity of the drug discovery pipeline of its partner's candidates portfolio.
The BICOLL Group provides its services to a number of international clients of various fields of interest, e.g. pharmaceutical and agrochemical industry. The BICOLL Group comprises two legal entities: BICOLL GmbH in Munich, Germany and BICOLL Biotechnology (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., P.R. China. Technology development, cooperation management and marketing are functions in Munich, while facilities for research and development are located in Shanghai. BICOLL currently employs 35 people at both locations.
GENFIT is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the Discovery and Development of drug candidates in strategic therapeutic fields linked to cardiometabolic and neurodegenerative disorders (prediabetes/diabetes, atherosclerosis, dyslipidemia, obesity, Alzheimer’s…). GENFIT uses a multi-pronged approach based on early diagnosis, preventive solutions, and therapeutic treatments to address these major public health concerns and their unmet medical needs. GENFIT’s proprietary research programs and its partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies, including SANOFI-AVENTIS, SOLVAY GROUP, PIERRE FABRE, and SERVIER, have resulted in the creation of a rich and diversified pipeline of drug candidates at different stages of development. GENFIT’s lead proprietary compound, GFT505, is currently in Phase II and two other compounds, in partnership with SANOFI-AVENTIS (AVE0897) and SOLVAY (SLV341), are in the advanced stages of Phase I. With facilities in Lille, France, and Cambridge, MA (USA), the Company has about 130 employees, including over 100 scientists. GENFIT is a public company listed on the Alternext trading market by Euronext™ Paris (Alternext: ALGFT; ISIN: FR0004163111).
Jean-François Mouney – Chairman of the Management Board
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MILESTONES – Press Relations
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