Syngene partners with Sapient Discovery to expand integrated drug discovery offerings

Bangalore 22 January 2009Syngene International, a subsidiary of Biocon Group, a major Indian biotechnology expert, will offer fully integrated drug discovery services by partnering with Sapient Discovery, a United States-based biotechnology company. Syngene provides integrated chemistry, biology and biologics services to support development programmes of pharmaceutical and biotech companies worldwide on a platform of confidentiality and intellectual property protection.

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With world-class facilities located in a Special Economic Zone at Bangalore and a 1200 plus skilled talent pool of scientists, Syngene is equipped to partner with clients right from early stage discovery and preclinical development (Hit to Lead Programmes) through clinical development (Phase I-III) till commercial manufacturing requirements for both small molecules and large molecules in the most efficient manner in terms of cost, quality and time.

With over 14 years of experience as an independent contract manufacturer and research provider, Syngene has worked with companies of all sizes from small university spin-offs to major research institutes, government agencies, hospitals, small, medium and large established biopharmaceutical, agrochemical and chemical companies by employing flexible and customized business models as per requirement of the work. The company is also leveraging the convergence of IT and biotech. It also conducts high value R&D in early stage drug discovery and development for a diverse global clientele.

Sapient Discovery is an established expert in structure-guided drug discovery with a number of proprietary algorithms and capabilities for efficient protein structure-based drug discovery and optimization. Sapient Discovery's proprietary Genes-to-Leads technology incorporates knowledge of the dynamically flexible 3D structures of drug targets and "anti-targets" - proteins exhibiting structural similarity to the drug target - with laboratory screening methods, to generate target-selective initial drug leads in as little as 60 days.

"Sapient Discovery's proprietary Genes-to-Leads, Fragments-to-Leads and X-ray crystallography technologies provide dramatic reductions in the time and costs associated with compound synthesis and screening and expands the horizons of chemical diversity potentially applicable to novel or even well studied drug targets", according to Kal Ramnarayan, Ph.D., President and CSO of Sapient Discovery. He also added that Sapient Discovery's Fragments-to-Leads assures the novelty of identified lead molecules for protein targets, since the 10.000 plus fragment collection at Sapient Discovery can aid in the ultimate synthesis of novel, patentable lead molecules in a short time span.

"The challenges posed by the rapidly growing number of new drug targets will be greatly benefited by the integration of supercomputer-based virtual screening and X-ray crystallography methods with laboratory screening technologies. These techniques are likely to play an increasingly important role in drug discovery and optimization in the future", stated Dr. Goutam Das, COO of Syngene International.

The companies intend to provide a highly integrated platform for structure-based drug discovery with one stop shop for structure-guided discovery, chemistry, biology and structural biology capabilities. This arrangement is crucial at a time when cost-reductions and efficiency in the drug discovery process is driving companies to look for suitable out-sourcing partners.

Established in 1994, Syngene was India's first Custom Research Organisation to receive special export status by the Government of India. Over the past 14 years, Syngene has successfully partnered with major players in the global pharmaceutical industry across a range of challenging programmes, from discovery to supply of complex development compounds.

Today, Syngene is among India's foremost integrated custom research service providers. Syngene's considerable scientific talent pool and state-of-the-art R&D and production facilities enable it to enhance productivity and accelerate delivery of all projects with the highest degree of professionalism.

Proprietary technologies and superior knowledge-driven concepts propel Syngene's reputation as a "full-service research hub". Leveraging India's powerful value advantage while continuing to deliver high levels of innovation, Syngene remains a compelling collaborator for advanced, cost-effective custom research services.

Sapient Discovery utilizes integrated, proprietary computational and experimental laboratory technologies, including large-scale comparative analysis of 3D protein target and anti-target structures, augmented homology modelling, X-ray crystallography, fragment-based drug discovery, molecular and cellular biology and proprietary data mining to accelerate the drug discovery and optimization processes. Sapient Discovery has in-house lead molecules for infectious disease target as well as for an oncology target and applies its technologies to advance the drug discovery programmes of its external partners and clients.

Established in 1978, Biocon Limited is recognized as India's premier biotechnology company. Biocon and its two subsidiary companies, Syngene International Ltd. and Clinigene International Ltd., form a fully integrated biotechnology enterprise, specializing in biopharmaceuticals, custom research and clinical research. With successful initiatives in clinical development, bio-processing and global marketing, Biocon delivers products and solutions to partners and customers across the globe. Many of these products have USFDA and EMEA acceptance. Biocon launched the world's first recombinant human insulin, INSUGEN, in November 2004 using Pichia expression and India's first indigeneously produced monoclonal antibody BIOMAb-EGFR in September, 2006.


Source: Syngene International

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