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LUNAC Therapeutics selects XenoGesis as strategic drug discovery partner

Nottingham-based leading DMPK provider, XenoGesis, who is a member of the Medicines Discovery Catapult Discovery Services Network, has been selected by LUNAC Therapeutics Limited to support them in the discovery of novel anticoagulant therapies that have a reduced risk of bleeding compared to current therapies. LUNAC has been assisted in the selection process by the Medicines Discovery Catapult.


LUNAC Therapeutics is a UK-based drug discovery company focused on the identification and development of advanced anticoagulants with minimal bleeding risk. Towards the end of 2019 LUNAC Therapeutics, a spin-out from the University of Leeds secured £2.65M of Series A funding led by Epidarex, and along with the Medicines Discovery Catapult was awarded £3.14m funding under Innovate UK’s Biomedical Catalyst programme.


The aim of the partnership is to discover a drug that inhibits the protease target, activated Factor XII. This coagulation factor is implicated in the formation of pathological clots, but not the stemming of bleeding, so individuals who lack Factor XII do not exhibit bleeding symptoms unlike those with a deficiency in any other coagulation factor.


The XenoGesis team is providing the DMPK consultancy, PK modelling and dose prediction support, in order to help the team select the most appropriate compounds to progress through the pre-clinical phase.


Graham Trevitt, Chief Scientific Officer at XenoGesis, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as one of the strategic drug discovery partners to support LUNAC Therapeutics. Our team will bring the needed DMPK consultancy, PK/PK-PD modelling and dose prediction expertise to the project, helping Professor Philippou and her team work towards the identification of novel anticoagulation medicines.”


Sarah Brockbank, Lead Scientist at the Medicines Discovery Catapult, said: “As a member of our Discovery Services Network, which includes 27 expert CROs, XenoGesis is a trusted partner with a strong track record of delivery. I am certain XenoGesis will be able to provide the specialist PK and PK/PD modelling expertise which is vital to progressing development of LUNAC Therapeutic’s novel anticoagulant therapies.”


Prof Helen Philippou, Scientific Founder of LUNAC Therapeutics, said: “There is an urgent need for anticoagulant therapies with reduced bleeding risk. Our research has validated that targeting activated Factor XII may lead to differentiated therapies and a new treatment option for patients.” 

About XenoGesis Ltd

XenoGesis Ltd. specialises in preclinical drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK), quantitative bioanalysis, in vitro pharmacology and modelling and simulation for human PK and dose prediction. The core XenoGesis team has a proven track record of delivery in drug discovery. Through a consultative approach, the XenoGesis team helps to identify the potential ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in a selection of compounds synthesised in drug discovery campaigns, providing significant time and cost savings for R&D companies. Moreover, providing iterative feedback to the research team based on the results and recommending next steps is a key focus for XenoGesis. The organisation combines its state-of-the-art in vitro, in vivo and bioanalytical capabilities with its expert pharmacokinetic/ pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) data interpretation services with GastroPlus™. Their laboratory tests build a full picture of the ADME properties of a molecule including required human drug exposure, backed-up with advice on how to modify the chemical structure of a compound to make it more ‘drug-like’. This unique offering is what make the XenoGesis service attractive to global drug companies.

XenoGesis is a laboratory-based contract research organisation (CRO) based at BioCity in Nottingham and its Founder and CEO is Dr Richard Weaver FRSC.

In 2020, XenoGesis was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of its export growth.

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Last Updated: 11-Jun-2020