The collaboration is based on leveraging e-Therapeutics’ Network-Driven Drug Discovery (NDD) platform for drug discovery with C4X Discoveries’ Taxonomy3 technology to identify new cellular mechanisms that are important in the pathology of Parkinson’s disease.
e-Therapeutics’ NDD platform employs methods like machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and data analysis to create and study network models of disease that allow researchers to identify likely proteins that could be disrupted to treat Parkinson’s and other diseases.
By modeling disease networks and studying the patterns of connections between proteins, e-Therapeutics’ researchers claim to be more efficient at selecting the best drug-like compounds for screening and subsequent pre-clinical testing, meaning more candidates can be tested faster.
C4X Discoveries’ Taxonomy3 platform uses human genetic datasets to identify novel patient-specific targets, which can lead to greater discovery productivity and increased probability of clinical success, the company claims.
Combined with C4X Discoveries’ novel drug design platform, researchers can gain unprecedented insight into the behavior of new drug molecules, enabling the production of potent selective compounds faster and more cost-effectively than the industry standard.
To date, Taxonomy3 already identified 180 novel disease-associated genes for Parkinson’s disease, along with discrete patient sub-groups that potentially could provide an opportunity in stratified medicine — a method that identifies subgroups of patients with distinct mechanisms of disease, or particular responses to treatments and ensures the right patient gets the right treatment at the right time.
Grounding on these findings, e-Therapeutics will apply its NDD platform to derive new molecular insights and understand their interplay and role in Parkinson’s disease.
To put the potential of Taxonomy3 into context, at the start of 2017 only 40 Parkinson’s-associated genes were known in the scientific literature. By September, Genentech and 23andme published the results of a collaboration in which they identified an additional 17 novel genetic variants representing 32 new Parkinson’s-associated genes.
“We are delighted to be entering into this collaboration with C4XD, which has the ultimate ambition of discovering novel drugs for Parkinson’s Disease, a debilitating and progressive condition where there remains a significant unmet medical need for truly effective treatments,” Ray Barlow, CEO of e-Therapeutics, said in a press release.
“Our NDD platform is a unique approach that interrogates complex biology in a fundamentally different way. Our aim is to use the genomic associations that C4XD’s Taxonomy3 technology platform has uncovered, to create new therapeutic approaches to treat this devastating disease,” Barlow added. “There is potentially an exciting technological synergy between our approaches and we are looking forward to combining our expertise and working together.”
The main goal of this collaboration is to discover innovative treatment strategies, new molecular targets and ultimately, novel drugs for Parkinson’s disease.