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LoQus23 and HitGen Announce Research Collaboration Focused on DNA-Encoded Library Based Drug Discovery Release Time:2022-07-27


CHENGDU, China, July 27, 2022 – Shanghai Stock Exchange listed company HitGen Inc. (“HitGen”) today announced that it has entered into a research collaboration agreement with LoQus23 Therapeutics Ltd. (“LoQus23”), a private biotechnology company discovering small molecule therapies that target aberrant DNA damage repair to treat Huntington's disease and other triplet repeat diseases (TRDs). HitGen will apply its DNA-encoded library (DEL) technology platform to discover compounds that bind to certain targets that are of interest to LoQus23.


Triplet repeat diseases are genetic disorders that primarily affect the nervous system and are caused by abnormal trinucleotide repeat expansions. Human genome-wide association studies on Huntington's disease and other TRDs have demonstrated that clinical disease measures, such as age of onset and rate of progression, are critically modified by genetic variants that increase mismatch repair pathway activity. Aberrant activity of this pathway leads to further expansions of trinucleotide repeats in the DNA sequence. That, in turn, translates into more toxicity in the neurons of vulnerable brain regions, thus accelerating the rate of neurodegeneration. LoQus23's differentiated, structure-based approach targets DNA damage repair proteins with small molecule drugs to stop DNA instability and slow neurodegeneration in Huntington's disease, myotonic dystrophy type 1 and other TRDs. 


HitGen is a world leader in the development of the DEL technology and its applications to early-stage small molecule drug discovery. To explore therapies for the challenging TRDs, LoQus23 will provide novel targets, and HitGen will screen its expansive DELs of over 1.2 trillion small molecules against these targets.


“LoQus23 is a highly innovative company with in-depth expertise in pursuing genetically-validated targets for the treatment of triplet repeat diseases. We look forward to working with LoQus23 to identify novel small molecule starting points from DNA-encoded libraries. We will work closely with LoQus23 scientists to generate new lead compounds for their research programs to address unmet medical needs associated with aberrant DNA damage repair and improve the lives of patients with devastating genetic diseases,” said Dr. Jin Li, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of HitGen.


“HitGen is a world leader in DNA-encoded libraries and we look forward to working with their scientists to discover small molecule hits for novel DNA damage repair targets to expand the portfolio of innovative projects at LoQus23,” said Dr. David Reynolds, LoQus23’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer.


HitGen has built four core technology platforms including DNA-encoded library (DEL), molecular fragment and structure design (FBDD/SBDD), synthetic therapeutic oligonucleotide (STO) and targeted protein degradation (TPD). HitGen’s DEL technology platform, centered around the design, synthesis and interrogation of thousands of DELs that collectively comprise over 1.2 trillion small, drug-like molecules, is also capable of providing services and products including DEL screening, customized DEL library, OpenDEL®, etc. Over the past few years, HitGen has worked with its partners to utilize the DEL platform to generate nearly 500 licensed novel chemical structures for their research projects.  




About LoQus23 Therapeutics, Ltd.

LoQus23 is a biotech company discovering oral therapies targeting aberrant DNA mismatch repair for the treatment of Huntington's Disease and other triplet repeat disorders. Targeting DNA mismatch repair has the potential to stop DNA instability and therefore slow neurodegeneration in these diseases. LoQus23 is focused on using a structure-based approach to design small molecule drugs, which can offer more convenient administration than other approaches.

LouQs23 was founded in 2019 by members of the Dementia Discovery Fund including Dr. David Reynolds, Dr. Caroline Benn, and Dr. Ruth McKernan FMedsci CBE. The Company is headquartered in Cambridge, UK.


About HitGen Inc.

HitGen Inc. (SSE: 688222.SH), founded in 2012, is headquartered in Chengdu, China, with subsidiaries in Cambridge, UK and Houston, USA. HitGen is committed to building a world-class innovative biopharmaceutical enterprise and contributing to the better life and health of mankind. Engaged in the discovery and optimization of small molecules and nucleic acid drugs, HitGen dedicates itself to cultivating an internationally leading drug discovery and optimization system centered on four key technology platforms, including DNA-encoded library technology (including DEL design, synthesis and screening, and application expansion), fragment-based drug discovery and structure-based drug design technologies (FBDD/SBDD), synthetic therapeutic oligonucleotide technology (STO), and targeted protein degradation technology (TPD). It provides new molecular entities (NMEs) at different stages of research and development for the pharmaceutical industry, through its diversified business models including research and development services, out-licensing of projects at different R&D stages, and new drug launches in the long term, with an aim to address unmet clinical needs with innovative therapeutic solutions. As a leader in the field of DEL technology, HitGen has been committed to the development, application and upgrade of DEL technology since its establishment. By the end of 2021, HitGen's DELs contains more than 1.2 trillion novel, diverse, drug-like small molecules and macrocyclic compounds. These compounds are members of DELs synthesized from many thousands of distinct chemical scaffolds, designed with tractable chemistry, and have yielded proven results for the discovery of small molecule leads against precedented and unprecedented classes of biological targets. HitGen is in collaboration with pharmaceutical, biotech and chemical companies, foundations and research institutes in the Americas, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Oceania.

For more information, please call +86-28-85197385, +1-508-840-9646 or visit www.hitgen.com.

For media inquiries: media@hitgen.com 

For investor inquiries: investors@hitgen.com  

For business development: bd@hitgen.com

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