Launch of Joint Research with Teijin Pharma for the Discovery of Novel Small-Molecule Drugs Targeting Nucleic Acids

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Veritas In Silico Inc. (“VIS,” Head Office: Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director: Shingo Nakamura) announced today the launch of its joint research with Teijin Pharma Limited (“Teijin Pharma,” Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President: Ichiro Watanabe), the core company of the Teijin Group’s healthcare business, for the discovery of novel small-molecule drugs targeting nucleic acids.

The new concept of targeting nucleic acids with small molecules is rapidly gaining attention due to the current difficulty of developing small-molecule drugs against conventional protein targets. Shingo K Nakamura, representative director of VIS, found that the thermodynamic stabilization of structural motifs on the mRNA markedly inhibits protein translation. Based on this unprecedented finding, VIS developed a technology analyzing nucleic acid structural motifs and established a high-throughput method for screening small-molecule drug candidates that stabilize motifs on the mRNA of interest. These technologies led to the signing of the first joint research agreement of VIS with one of Japan’s leading pharmaceutical companies in 2018.

Through this joint research, it is expected that the strengths of two companies, the skills and experiences that Teijin Pharma has accumulated in its pharmaceutical research and technologies that VIS has established for the analysis of structural motifs on nucleic acids and screening of small-molecule drug candidates, will enable the efficient discovery of new drug candidates targeting mRNAs from Teijin Pharma’s chemical libraries.

VIS pursues a platform business providing its core technologies for the discovery of new drugs targeting nucleic acids. As a R&D partner of various companies, VIS will continue to focus on further developing its technologies to provide new treatments for patients suffering from diseases for which there has been no effective treatment.