IRBM, announced a new agreement in the peptide therapeutics area with Merck & Co. Inc., Kenilworth NJ USA, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, continuing their long-standing history of collaboration that began in 2010.
“Our R&D peptide group have extensive expertise to help deliver high quality peptide drugs for a wide variety of therapeutic indications,” said Carlo Toniatti, CSO at IRBM. “We are thrilled to be collaborating on this project as part of our mission to advance impactful agents into the clinic.”
There has been increasing interest in peptide research over the last 15 years. The pharma industry continues to make significant pre-clinical and clinical investments into peptide-based therapeutic candidates for different therapeutic areas, including metabolic diseases, oncology and cardiovascular disease. Over the last decade there have been numerous technological advancements in this field. Now characteristics that were previously considered a liability for peptides, such as screening systems for lead identification, half-life, stability, solubility, formulation, and delivery routes, are no longer considered insurmountable obstacles.
“At MSD [Merck], evaluating the potential of peptide-based therapeutic candidates is a key part of our discovery strategy,” said Emma Parmee, VP, global discovery chemistry, Merck. “We look forward to continuing to collaborate with our colleagues at IRBM.”
IRBM has built broad expertise in peptide drug development, from initial target identification to the development of a clinical candidate with the required properties in terms of specificity, potency, pharmacokinetics, metabolism and toxicology. For this project, IRBM will be applying its expertise in phage display peptide library design and screening and in chemical peptide synthesis and optimization, to identify potential peptide leads for a specific Merck target.