Abilita Bio Inc. today announced a second research collaboration agreement with a major pharmaceutical partner, which will leverage Abilita Bio’s proprietary EMP™ membrane protein evolution platform to accelerate G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) drug discovery and development. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed and include upfront and milestone payments associated with the research program, including future licensing rights to molecules discovered against this target.
“We are pleased to sign an agreement with another top-tier pharmaceutical company as it provides further validation of the Abilita Bio EMP™ approach,” said Mauro Mileni, CEO of Abilita Bio. “Our EMP™ platform can transform drug discovery efforts against the most challenging membrane protein targets, which often fail to respond to traditional methods. By improving the intrinsic properties of the drug target, we can enable our partners to employ their chosen discovery technologies, and to develop new protein-based methods that lead to novel, high-quality antibody or small-molecule leads.”
In 2016, Abilita Bio achieved several significant milestones, both within its internal programs and in connection with other collaboration agreements, positioning the company to be a significant player in the membrane protein drug discovery and development space. In addition to this agreement, last year Abilita Bio was awarded a highly competitive SBIR grant from the National Cancer Institute funding internal development of therapeutics that target metastatic breast cancer, successfully completed project milestones and expanded the scope of the first collaborative deal with a major pharma partner, and expanded the EMP™ platform capabilities to address ion channel drug discovery, successfully producing the first human voltage-gated sodium channel (NaV) EMPs™.
“This has been an exciting and successful year for the company and we look forward to 2017 where we aim to expand current and establish new collaborations, and advance our internal product programs. All this has been made possible by our dedicated Abilita Bio team, advisors, and partners,” said Dr. Mileni.
About the EMP™ Platform
The EMP™ platform was developed to address fundamental challenges with membrane protein drug discovery and development. Human membrane proteins often exhibit poor expression and low stability, which makes their production and use in small-molecule and antibody discovery difficult or impossible. The EMP™ platform uses directed evolution to improve membrane protein properties such as yield, conformational homogeneity and thermal stability, while preserving native structure and pharmacology. Our partners have leveraged the EMP™ platform to improve existing discovery methods to transform the challenging task of new drug discovery.
About Abilita Bio, Inc.
Founded in 2014, Abilita Bio is an innovation-driven biotechnology company focused on enabling the discovery and development of drugs targeting challenging human membrane proteins with high medical impact.
Abilita Bio has established research collaborations with global pharmaceutical companies to advance their internal drug discovery programs targeting GPCRs and ion channels. The company continues to extend the EMP™ platform into new applications through multiple risk-sharing collaborations with biotechnology industry partners, while leveraging the EMP™ platform to fuel a robust internal drug discovery pipeline focused on treating cancer and chronic pain.
Abilita Bio, Inc.
Mauro Mileni, PhD
President & CEO