NEOMED includes a new drug discovery project in its pipeline

The collaboration with Epigenetix Inc. aims at the development of new therapies against cancer

MONTREAL, April 1, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - NEOMED, an organization whose mission is to create a bridge between academic research and the pharmaceutical industry, is proud to announce the launch of a new oncology drug discovery project. The project, from a US company Epigenetix Inc. (Florida), has been selected by NEOMED to develop novel inhibitors of Brd4, a protein that functions as an epigenetic modulator and whose potential in the treatment of cancer is being explored. The initial stages of drug discovery will involve IntelliSynRD, a Montreal-based medicinal chemistry company located in the NEOMED Institute.

"This is a very important project for NEOMED which we will undertake in collaboration with our partners. We aim to deliver a candidate drug within the next six to eight months. We are confident that we can achieve this together thanks to our team of scientists and the support of our network at the NEOMED Institute, and elsewhere in Canada." said Dr. Max Fehlmann, President and Chief Executive Officer of NEOMED and the NEOMED Institute.

"We are very pleased to have the support of an organization such as NEOMED to advance the development of new inhibitors of Brd4 and confirm the importance of epigenetics in the treatment of various forms of cancer. NEOMED's expertise and its network will quickly move this project forward. The fact that our preferred provider of medicinal chemistry, IntelliSynRD, is part of the NEOMED Institute is an important advantage for the success of the project," said Joe Collard, President and Chief Executive Officer of Epigenetix Inc.

The most recent discoveries have shown that changes in the spatial shape of DNA can be as important as those in its sequence to explain the causes of certain diseases, in particular cancers. Although the DNA sequence cannot be easily modified, the spatial form of the DNA molecule is controlled by a family of enzymes that can be targeted with new classes of drugs. The ambition of epigenetics approaches is to restore the normal functions, especially in cancer cells.

About NEOMED and the NEOMED Institute

NEOMED is a non-for-profit organization with the mission to support the transition of promising therapeutic approaches emerging from academic and biotechnology companies and to bring them to IND or Phase II human proof-of-concept. NEOMED is jointly funded by the Pharma industry and the Ministère des Finances et de l'Économie du Québec. NEOMED's focus is drug discovery, preclinical and early clinical drug development. It has a team of scientists with industry-level expertise and capabilities including medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, toxicology and clinical trials design and implementation.

NEOMED is established within the NEOMED Institute, a state-of-the-art R&D facility in the Montreal Technoparc. The Institute acts as an open-access drug discovery hub hosting drug discovery and development research companies, providing a unique environment to foster innovation, collaboration and creativity.

For more information, please visit: www.neomed.ca

About Epigenetix

Epigenetix Inc. (www.Epigenetix.com) is based in Miami, Florida at the University of Miami Innovation Center. The company has a strong small molecule medicinal chemistry alliance with IntelliSynRD (www.IntelliSynRD.com) in Montreal and has several additional collaborative arrangements. Founded in 2011 by Joe Collard and Prof. Claes Wahlestedt, Epigenetix is a platform drug discovery company focused on the field of epigenetics and currently pursues a range of projects in different therapeutic areas. This field centers on changes in gene activities that are not caused by hereditary changes in the DNA sequence. Proper epigenetic regulation is essential to our health and development. Epigenetic dysregulation is thought to be a critical contributor to many diseases including cancer. The mission of Epigenetix is to address serious unmet medical needs like cancer and brain disorders by correcting or compensating for harmful epigenetic changes that contribute to or cause disease.

SOURCE NEOMED

For further information: Mounia Azzi, PhD, Director, Scientific Affairs, NEOMED, (514) 909-7714, mazzi@neomed.ca