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Salipro Biotech and Sumitomo Pharma collaborate for drug discovery

The research will aim to reveal the mechanism of action of a drug target candidate.

Salipro Biotech and Sumitomo Pharma have entered into a research collaboration to understand the pharmacological characteristics of a compound from Sumitomo’s drug discovery programme.

Both companies aim to reveal the mechanism of action and pharmacological characterisation of a drug candidate to advance Sumitomo’s drug discovery programme by characterising the drug candidate with therapeutic properties against a selected target.

Under the terms of the agreement, Swedish biotech Salipro will utilise its expertise in stabilising challenging membrane proteins, including GPCRs, ion channels and transporters, via its Salipro technology platform.

Currently, over 60% of all current drugs interact with membrane proteins that are embedded in the lipid membrane – fatty compounds that are part of the cell membrane that control what comes in and out of cells.

However, these proteins can be unstable and difficult to investigate for drug development.

The Salipro DirectMX technology enables the direct reconstitution of membrane proteins from cell membranes into Salipro particles to explore new drug targets with their native lipids.

The nano-membrane technology platform works by stabilising membrane proteins in their original forms, allowing them to be employed in drug discovery programmes for therapeutic antibodies or small-molecule drugs to unlock challenging drug targets.

Commenting on the collaboration, chief executive officer of Salipro Biotech, Jens Frauenfeld, said: “By combining our expertise with Sumitomo Pharma’s advanced capabilities in central nervous system drug discovery and development, we aim to shed light on the therapeutic potential of a drug candidate.”

Isao Shimizu, executive officer, senior vice president, head of the drug research division, and senior executive research director at Sumitomo Pharma, said: “Collaborating with Salipro Biotech represents an exciting opportunity to accelerate our understanding of the mechanism of action of our novel drug candidate.

“We look forward to working together to investigate its pharmacological characteristics.”