Ballerup, Denmark and Chengdu, China, November 12, 2019 – LEO Pharma A/S and HitGen Inc. are pleased to announce that HitGen and LEO Pharma expands their collaboration with a license to develop a novel class of drugs for a dermatology indication.
The licensed compounds were identified using HitGen’s leading technology platform, which involved screening DNA encoded libraries (DEL), containing over 400 billion small molecules with drug-like properties, synthesized on a broad range of structurally diverse scaffolds. A number of novel small molecule leads for an undisclosed target nominated by LEO Pharma are subject of this license.
Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, HitGen will grant exclusive rights to LEO Pharma to develop and commercialize the licensed compounds. HitGen will be eligible for preclinical and clinical milestone payments from LEO Pharma as the project progresses, in addition to an option exercise fee.
Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone in the long lasting partnership between LEO Pharma and HitGen originally initiated in 2015.
“We are delighted to announce this license with LEO Pharma. The success of delivery of these licensed compounds has further demonstrated the power of our DEL platform to discover novel small molecules against a variety of targets, including those previously deemed challenging for small molecule modalities. In this case that target may be characterized as a “protein-protein interaction”, a class that has proved “hard-to-drug” for small molecule discovery. The current achievement marks the continued progress and success of the discovery collaboration between the companies, spanning a range of discovery programs. We look forward to announcing future milestones as the programs progress.” said Dr. Jin Li, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of HitGen.
To date HitGen has initiated screening efforts on multiple LEO Pharma discovery programs related to dermatology. These programs are at various stages of screening, selection, synthesis and validation.
“It is with great pleasure that we expand our collaboration with HitGen to further accelerate LEO Pharma’s ambition to discover promising lead compounds against challenging drug targets in dermatology. This license marks a successful discovery of a promising compound series targeting a novel “protein-protein interaction” and is yet another important milestone in our dedicated efforts to discover and develop oral first-in-class drugs. LEO Pharma is committed to makingpioneeringadvances indermatologyresearch and to bringing new treatments to patients faster,” said Dr. Thorsten Thormann, Vice President of Global Research at LEO Pharma.
The financial terms of the license are not disclosed.
About HitGen Inc.
HitGen is a rapidly growing biotech company with headquarters and custom-built research facilities based in Chengdu, China, with a subsidiary based in Houston, TX USA. HitGen has established an industry-leading platform for early-stage drug discovery research focused on DNA encoded chemical libraries (DELs). HitGen’s DELs include encoded syntheses for more than 400 billion novel, diverse, drug-like small molecule and macrocycle compounds. These compounds are members of DELs synthesized from many hundreds of distinct chemical scaffolds, designed and assembled with tractable chemistry based on proven results for identifying drug-like leads against biological targets from known and novel classes, including so-called “hard to drug” classes such as protein-protein interactions. HitGen is working with multiple pharmaceutical and biotech companies, foundations and research institutes in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa to discover and develop the novel therapeutics of the future.
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Dr. Jin Li, Chairman & CEO, HitGen Inc.
Dr. Barry Morgan, Chief Scientific Officer,HitGen Inc.
About LEO Pharma
LEO Pharma helps people achieve healthy skin. The company is a leader in medical dermatology with a robust R&D pipeline, a wide range of therapies and a pioneering spirit. Founded in 1908 and owned by the LEO Foundation, LEO Pharma has devoted decades of research and development to advance the science of dermatology, setting new standards of care for people with skin conditions. LEO Pharma is headquartered in Denmark with a global team of 6,000 people, serving 76 million patients in 130 countries.
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Maia Fredtoft Soechting, Corporate Communications Manager