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Oxfordshire based Orbit Discovery partners with US company

Oxford’s Orbit Discovery has announced that it will partner with New Jersey-based Evergreen Discovery to identify specific cell targeting peptides and advance the development of novel radiopharmaceuticals.

Evergreen Discovery (Evergreen), a leading radiopharmaceutical drug development company with a focus on the treatment and diagnosis of cancer, and Orbit Discovery Ltd (Orbit), a leader in the discovery of therapeutic peptide hits, announced today that they have entered into a collaboration to identify specific cell targeting peptides and advance the development of novel radiopharmaceuticals. The agreement covers activities ranging from designing peptide libraries, hit identification and hit validation to confirm cell surface binding properties.

The radiopharmaceuticals market is rapidly expanding with the development of a variety of targeting moieties. These moieties allow for specific binding to a tumour target of interest, thereby localising the treatment to diseased tissues. Peptides are increasingly seen as a valuable delivery option, as their specificity, stability and rapid clearance has the potential to reduce off-target toxicities.

The collaboration will leverage Orbit’s peptide display technologies to find peptide leads specific to tumour related targets of interest. The proprietary platform will harness its unique ability to perform in vitro transcription translation from DNA-encoded libraries on beads. This capability allows for screening of huge libraries using Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS)-based methodologies, thereby significantly increasing throughput above other competing technologies. Evergreen will focus on subsequent development of the peptides for clinical use.

Paul Britton, Chief Executive of Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce commented: “Oxfordshire is home to some of the world’s most innovative, advanced, high-quality companies. This partnership, which is international in scope, showcases the acknowledgement of the region’s high-standard companies on a global level.”

Dr Thomas Reiner, Chief Scientific Officer, Evergreen Discovery, commented: “We are very pleased to be partnering with Orbit Discovery and capitalising on its technology and expertise in both chemistry and biology to drive innovation and expansion of our radiopharmaceutical candidate pipeline.”

The requirement for more direct screening technologies is key to successful drug development and we see Orbit as a steppingstone in attaining our goals in a rapid timeframe.”

Dr Neil Butt, Chief Executive Officer, Orbit Discovery, said: “Evergreen Discovery is a pioneer in the field of radiopharmaceuticals, and we’re delighted to be collaborating with the team. In conjunction with their capabilities in manufacturing, we aim to assist them in rapidly moving targeted radiopharmaceuticals into the clinic.”

This area of therapeutic drug development benefits significantly from our platform, where the higher numbers screened typically allow for better outputs and thereby reduce risk at a later stage in development.”

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