Plexxikon Receives Key Patents on Novel Compounds for Multiple Programs
Berkeley, CA - March 19, 2009 – Plexxikon Inc. today announced the issuance of key composition-of-matter patents covering novel compounds discovered through the company’s Scaffold-Based Drug Discovery™ platform. Plexxikon’s pipeline of preclinical and clinical stage product opportunities currently span potential treatments for cardio-renal disease, CNS disorders, inflammation, metabolic disease and oncology. Two of the three recently issued patents (U.S. patents no. 7,498,342 and no. 7,504,509) cover compounds derived from the company’s discovery efforts to target protein kinases for the treatment of multiple indications including oncology and inflammation. The third patent (U.S. patent no. 7,476,746) covers novel compounds from the company’s PPAR (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor) program yielding novel therapeutic opportunities for metabolic disorders and other diseases.
“We are pleased to be adding these additional patents to our growing and broad intellectual property portfolio,” stated K. Peter Hirth, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Plexxikon. “Plexxikon’s novel approach to drug discovery has enabled the company to advance multiple first-in-class drug candidates which are covered by strong intellectual property, and as a result, to secure significant pharmaceutical industry interest in our programs.”
In contrast to fragment-based approaches, Plexxikon’s platform has generated multiple product opportunities by mining the relatively unexplored chemical space of scaffold-like cores and by utilizing co-crystallography early in the discovery process to guide chemical optimization of these scaffolds. Further, the company has developed methods to make highly selective kinase inhibitors as yet rarely seen. Plexxikon has demonstrated the ability to develop selectivity between two targets with as little as one amino acid difference in their catalytic domains. This capability has created the opportunity for the development of new targeted drugs not only for oncology, but also for chronic disease indications outside oncology where safety hurdles are even higher. To date, Plexxikon’s platform has led to the development of a targeted medicine for the treatment of melanoma, a drug candidate for polycystic kidney disease (PKD), an oral agent for rheumatoid arthritis and a broad spectrum oral diabetic therapeutic, all representing novel agents addressing significant unmet needs.
Dr. Prabha Ibrahim Promoted to Vice President of Chemistry
In other news, Prabha N. Ibrahim, Ph.D., was promoted to the position of vice president of chemistry, bringing over 15 years of experience to her position. As head of chemistry since 2002, she has played a key role in building the company’s synthetic and medicinal chemistry capabilities leading to the discovery of Plexxikon’s novel drug candidates now in the clinic and in preclinical development. Prior to Plexxikon, Dr. Ibrahim was a senior scientist at CV Therapeutics, where she was responsible for the identification and development of preclinical candidates for cardiovascular indications. She also previously worked at Amgen, where she played an integral role in small molecule drug discovery for inflammation therapeutics. Dr. Ibrahim earned her Ph.D. at the University of Victoria, Canada, and was a Welch Foundation Fellow at Rice University in Houston.
Plexxikon is a leader in the structure-guided discovery and development of novel small molecule pharmaceuticals to treat human disease. The company’s clinical stage programs include PLX4032 for the treatment of melanoma and colorectal cancer, PLX5568 for the treatment of PKD and PLX204 for the treatment of diabetes. Among the company’s preclinical development programs, candidates are being developed for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases.
Plexxikon’s proprietary Scaffold-Based Drug Discovery™ platform is being applied to build a pipeline of product opportunities in multiple therapeutic areas. This discovery process integrates multiple state-of-the-art technologies, including structural screening as one key component that provides a significant competitive advantage over other drug discovery approaches. To date, the company has discovered a portfolio of clinical and preclinical stage compounds in varied disease areas addressing significant unmet needs in each therapeutic category. Plexxikon is seeking pharmaceutical and biotechnology partners for select collaboration opportunities. For more information, please visit www.plexxikon.com.