Physiomics and Cronos Therapeutics to develop GeneICE for cancer treatment
Oxford and London, November 23rd 2004… Physiomics plc, Europe’s leading systems biology simulation company, and Cronos Therapeutics Ltd have entered into an alliance whereby Physiomics will use its novel in silico technology to select optimal targets for the highly-selective GeneICE technology from Cronos Therapeutics. The alliance will then co-develop the lead GeneICE constructs.
Physiomics, which has recently announced its intention to float on AIM, has a sophisticated mammalian cell cycle model designed to assess pharmaceutical action and efficacy. This is now linked with the latest physiological based drug delivery software (PK-Sim®) from Bayer Technology Services GmbH. The integration of these two technologies enables Physiomics to assess the effects of modulating cell cycle components, refine and speed-up pre-clinical development and potentially reduce the risks of clinical trials.
The Cronos GeneICE technology is a highly gene-specific and potentially longer acting alternative to antisense and RNAi technologies, developed at Imperial College, London. It has been shown that GeneICE can switch off specific genes following one administration. As GeneICE acts on the genes directly, it is anticipated that much lower doses may need to be administered compared to conventional therapies.
Dr John Savin, CEO of Physiomics commented, “The technology developed by Physiomics is ideally suited to assessing the effects of GeneICE on the cancer cell growth. In partnership with Cronos, Physiomics believes that it can target key cell cycle proteins that conventional molecules only affect non-specifically, and can hit targets that are undruggable in conventional chemistries.
“Applying the Physiomics technology directly to drug development in partnership with pharmaceutical companies is the next key stage in our strategic development. This alliance takes Physiomics into the pharmaceutical hot areas of histone deacetylase (HDAC) drug development and the key oncology market.”
Satu Vainikka, Cronos Therapeutics’ CEO said, “I am delighted that the value of our technology has been recognised to be a powerful tool in the understanding of complex regulatory and signalling pathways. This strongly complements the company’s current drug development portfolio. We believe that Physiomics’ unique in silico approach will significantly enhance our ability to develop effective therapeutics rapidly.
“Cronos is pleased to be able to add value to Physiomics and its alliance partner, Bayer Technology Services, in their programmes.”
Physiomics plc is a systems biology company which supplies in silico simulations customized to proprietary pharmaceutical development projects. It develops mathematical models of key cellular processes including cancer cell growth and division. Physiomics’ proprietary SystemCellTM software allows the creation of a population of diverse ‘Virtual Cells’, each independently responding to drug action and so more accurately replicating clinical situations. In 2004, Physiomics entered a strategic alliance with Bayer Technology Services GmbH to integrate PK-Sim® with its novel biological simulations and to further develop and globally market the enhanced technology platform.
Integrated in silico experiments help pharmaceutical development teams interpret the pharmacokinetics and the pharmacodynamics (drug activity and timelines respectively) of compounds being tested in clinical trials. The company was founded in 2001 and is based in Oxford, UK. In 2002 it won a UK government SMART award to develop its Rational Therapy Design System.
Cronos Therapeutics Ltd
Cronos Therapeutics Ltd is a biopharmaceutical company established to develop a novel and groundbreaking class of therapeutics based on the unique and proprietary GeneICE platform for the regulation of gene expression. GeneICE therapeutics offer a high value and exciting opportunity to introduce a completely new and revolutionary class of drugs designed to treat a wide range of diseases by preventing production of target proteins. The Company has lead compounds selected for development. The company was founded in 2004 and is based in London BioScience Innovation Centre, London.
GeneICE makes use of normal biological processes by prevention of transcription. Cellular gene repressor complexes interact with the target gene, resulting in specific, sustainable and effective down regulation of that gene by modifying the chromatin structure that governs the expression of the genomic code. GeneICE drugs targeted at genes involved in cancer have been shown to be extremely effective in cellular systems.
Physiomics plc: Dr John Savin, phone +44 (0)1865 784981
Cronos Therapeutics Ltd: Dr Satu Vainikka, phone: + 44 (0)20 7691 1122
Northbank Communications: Fiona Brown, phone: +44 20 7886-8155, fax: +44 207 886 8151