The growing importance to pharmaceutical companies of understanding the potential side-effects of their drugs was recently demonstrated when Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and Abbott Laboratories.
The growing importance to pharmaceutical companies of understanding the potential side-effects of their drugs was recently demonstrated when Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and Abbott Laboratories both signed research agreements with Iconix Pharmaceuticals, a US chemogenomics company.
Chemogenomics integrates chemistry and genomics to predict the efficacy and potential side effects of drug candidates, and Iconix is a leading player in this new field. It has developed a reference source, known as DrugMatrix, that details the genetic effects of a range of drug and drug-related chemical compounds and is based on the results of thousands of gene array and molecular pharmacology experiments. Using DrugMatrix, scientists at Iconix have so far identified over 200 sets of genes, known as drug signatures, that can act as biomarkers to predict the toxicological and mechanistic profiles of a drug.
Under the terms of the two agreements, BMS and Abbott will gain access to DrugMatrix and to Iconix’s library of drug signatures. Iconix will also work with BMS on a number of projects, using its chemogenomics technology to help BMS prioritise its candidate drug molecules and improve its understanding of potential side effects. Abbott will use Iconix’s technology to help develop new drugs and diagnostic products, and will also work with Iconix to develop in vitro, gene expression-based screening of early stage drug compounds for potential liver toxicity.
Commenting on the deals, Jim Neal, Iconix’s CEO, said: ’We are confident that in the near future chemogenomics will become a key tool in drug discovery and development and an integral part of regulatory submissions’.