PRESS RELEASE / NEWS
Veritas In Silico and HitGen Announce Research Collaboration Focused on DNA-Encoded Library Based RNA-Targeting Small Molecule Drug Discovery
TOKYO, Japan, September 2nd, 2021– Veritas In Silico Inc. (“Veritas In Silico”), a Tokyo-based private company, and Shanghai Stock Exchange listed company HitGen Inc. (“HitGen”) today announced that they have entered into a research collaboration agreement to discover small molecule compounds against RNA targets. Veritas In Silico will apply its drug discovery platform, ibVIS, to identify certain RNA targets that are of interest to Veritas In Silico. HitGen will apply its platform technology, based on the design, synthesis and screening of DNA-encoded libraries (DEL) to discover compounds that bind to the RNA targets. The identified compounds will be exclusively licensed to Veritas In Silico sharing the IP with HitGen.
Veritas In Silico is a leading biotech company shedding light on RNA targets, with its ibVIS platform that enables the development of small molecule drugs targeting local structures, motifs, found on RNA. In response to the growing interest in RNA-targeting small molecules, Veritas In Silico will incorporate HitGen’s DEL technology into its ibVIS platform.
“We are very excited to collaborate with HitGen, a world leader in DNA-encoded library (DEL) technology that features over 1 trillion small, drug-like molecules and has a proven track record. We believe that the synergy between our ibVIS platform and HitGen’s DEL technology will accelerate delivery of new RNA-targeted drugs to patients with unmet medical needs.” said Dr. Shingo Nakamura, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Veritas In Silico.
HitGen is a world leader in the development of the DEL technology and applications to small molecule drug discovery. The availability of over 1 trillion small molecules generated by the DEL technology and the efficiency of the screening process have made it possible for HitGen to enable drug discovery projects for many organizations around the world.
“We look forward to working with Veritas In Silico to identify novel small molecule starting points for their RNA targets from DNA-encoded libraries. Targeting RNAs has become one of the most promising mechanism for novel drug discovery in recent years. We will work closely with their scientists to generate new lead compounds for their research programs to address unmet medical needs.” said Dr. Jin Li, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of HitGen.
About Veritas In Silico inc.
Veritas In Silico is a platform biotech company focusing on RNA-targeted drug discovery not only with small molecules but also antisense oligonucleotides.
Veritas In Silico was established in 2016, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, with its laboratories in Kanagawa and Niigata, Japan. Using its proprietary drug discovery platform, ibVIS, Veritas In Silico conducts joint drug discovery research with more than five pharmaceutical companies as its partners, with over 20 projects in progress. The ibVIS platform provides the partners with a series of cutting-edge technologies on RNA-targeted drug discovery ranging from target identification, screening, hit validation to lead optimization; these specifically include validated RNA structural analysis, proven quantitative screening of RNA-binding compounds, experimental technology to measure binding of the compounds to target motifs, and robust structure-based drug discovery based on 3D structural analysis of RNA-small molecule complex and molecular orbital calculations.
The joint and in-house projects gave Veritas In Silico conclusive evidence of the technology’s accuracy and validity in identifying druggable motifs of RNA, leading to the completion of its comprehensive structure database of human, mouse, and rat mRNA, “Kizashi1.1,” in March 2021; it enables Veritas In Silico to illuminate druggable mRNA targets on a timely basis. The ibVIS platform with Kizashi is now ready for any current and potential partners to conduct drug discovery targeting any mRNA of their interests.
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About HitGen Inc.
HitGen Inc. is a biotech company headquartered in Chengdu, China, with subsidiaries in Cambridge, UK and Houston, USA. It became a publicly listed company in Shanghai Stock Exchange in April 2020 (ticker code 688222.SH). HitGen has established a drug discovery research platform for small molecules and nucleic acid drug centered on the design, synthesis and screening of DNA encoded chemical libraries (DELs), fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) and structure-based drug design (SBDD) technologies. HitGen’s DELs currently contains more than 1 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.
Through its acquisition of Cambridge UK based Vernalis R&D Ltd before the end of 2020, a leader in FBDD/SBDD, HitGen now has a research team of over 500 scientists and offers a full set of research capabilities from recombinant protein expression and purification, structural biology, assay development, screening, DEL synthesis, nucleic acid and small molecule chemical synthesis, computational and medicinal chemistry, biochemistry and biophysics, cell biology, in vivo pharmacology, DMPK, CMC, etc., to enable drug discovery research from target gene to IND filing.
HitGen RNA therapeutics R&D platform includes key capabilities such as bioinformatics, organic chemistry and medicinal chemistry，RNA biology, molecular biology and cell biology, translational research and clinical research. The platform not only provides high quality services to support internal and external RNA therapeutics R&D projects, but also carries out siRNA sequence design, siRNA parallel synthesis and chemical modification/conjugation, mRNA and protein knock-down assays in both engineered cell lines and primary cell lines, stability test, off-target assessment, bio-distribution and other relate in vitro/in vivo assays for activity and toxicity study, etc. HitGen has also established its own pipelines in early stages to discover novel RNA therapeutics, aiming for providing new treatment for unmet medical needs in oncology and immunology.
HitGen operates a flexible business model, ranging from a single capability-based fee for services (FFS，e.g., protein expression and purification, structural biology, bioinformatics, computational chemistry, medicinal chemistry, nucleic and organic chemistry, analytical chemistry， biophysics, PK, PD, etc.), DEL screening, DEL design, synthesis and characterization, integrated drug discovery projects, risk sharing projects, collaborative ventures to program out-licensing. HitGen has approximately 20 in-house drug discovery programs at different stages of research & development. At present, 4 programs have obtained IND approvals by NMPA and entered into clinical trials. HitGen is collaborating with pharmaceutical, biotech and chemical companies, foundations and research institutes in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia to enable the discovery and development of novel medicines and agrochemicals.
For more information, please call +86-28-85197385, +1-508-840-9646 or visit www.hitgen.com.
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