Orbit Discovery and Endevica Bio to develop cachexia therapeutics

muscle loss cachexia cancer

Orbit Discovery Limited has entered into a multi target research agreement with Endevica Bio Inc. 

Endevica creates first-in-class therapeutics for cachexia caused by cancer and other chronic conditions. Its lead compound has proven to be safe and well-tolerated in phase 1 trials. 

The collaboration aims to accelerate Endevica’s development of advanced G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR)-targeting therapeutics on receptor sets both novel and complementary to its lead compound.

Endevica’s technology platform allows for the modification of peptides to modulate activity of GPCRs behind the blood-brain barrier. The focus of the agreement is to identify peptide hits from selected library populations, derived from Endevica’s internal in silico and modeling tools, which will be applied directly to Orbit’s proprietary functional screening platform where agonism of proteins can be identified. 

The platform allows for millions of independent peptide sequences to be screened using a combination of bead-based DNA encoded libraries and microfluidic droplet screening. The peptide display engine is able to address soluble targets and targets in situ, both on and in cells, allowing for faster discovery times of relevant peptide leads based on affinity screens and/or functional screens.

The agreement covers activities ranging from hit ID to development of cell-based assays, with an option for Endevica to further develop the peptide hits resulting from the screening activities.

Peptide therapeutics

Neil Butt, chief executive officer, Orbit Discovery, said: “This agreement is further validation of the utility of Orbit’s discovery platforms and adds to an expanding portfolio of partners obtaining benefit from our unique ability to screen so many peptides directly in cell based functional screens. Through these types of innovative collaborations, we play a critical role in accelerating the development of peptide therapeutics to potentially help people living with serious medical conditions.

“Our aim is to make screening more relevant to the final biological read-outs required by drug developers, to ensure the right leads are selected first time, every time. This has the potential to deliver a generation of future therapeutics with high tissue specificity, low toxicity, and ultimately, safer and more effective medicines.”

Russell Potterfield, chief executive officer and executive chairman, Endevica Bio, said: Orbit has developed an impressive platform technology that is ideal for our requirements. We selected Orbit as our discovery partner for ongoing discovery work because of the team’s experience in overcoming peptide screening challenges, alongside an industry-leading platform.

“The ability to identify functional hits to our targets using large libraries will be a more cost effective and speedier option to traditional discovery options. We are confident that the combination of Orbit’s peptide discovery capabilities and our expertise in drug development will facilitate the accelerated entry of complementary therapeutics portfolios into the clinic.”

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