DNA-Encoded library-based design platform to screen novel small molecule candidates.

Aiming to identify novel small molecule leads, Chinese biotech HitGen and Boehringer Ingelheim recently entered into a drug discovery research collaboration Under the terms of the agreement, HitGen will receive payments upfront and work for milestone payments from Boehringer Ingelheim after meeting agreed upon targets.

Although specific financial details were not disclosed, Dr. Jin Li, HitGen’s Chairman and CEO said “We are delighted to enter this collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim, a major research based pharmaceutical company providing world-wide benefits to patients This collaboration further emphasizes the role of HitGen in the rapidly developing field of DNA-encoded chemistry. We will work closely with Boehringer Ingelheim scientists to generate new lead compounds for their research programs to address unmet medical needs.”

With primary research facilities and its headquarters in Chengdu, China HitGen has established a drug discovery research platform centered on DNA encoded chemical libraries (DELs). According to the company, its DELs contain more than “90 billion novel, diverse, drug-like small molecule and macrocycle compounds.”

The compounds, explained HitGen, are members of DELs the company synthesized from hundreds of distinct chemical scaffolds, “designed with tractable chemistry and proven results for finding drug leads against biological targets from known and novel classes.” The Boehringer Ingelheim collaboration is the latest among several biotech/pharma companies, as well as research institutes, it is currently working with to discover and develop future therapeutics.

Eric Haaksma, Boehringer Ingelheim’s Senior VP of Research in Germany noted that the collaboration complemented the company’s in-house expertise in the field of small molecule therapeutics research. “With HitGen’s DNA encoded library platform,” said Haaksma, “We believe that HitGen’s screening capabilities of huge chemical spaces in combination with Boehringer Ingelheim’s skills in optimizing HitGen’s hits to novel drugs, could speed-up the provision of innovative medicines.”