NEW YORK, June 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- D. E. Shaw Research (DESRES) today announced that it has entered into an exclusive global license agreement with Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly) for the clinical development and commercialization of DESRES's program of Kv1.3-targeted therapeutics for the treatment of various immunological and inflammatory diseases.
The lead compound, DES-7114, is an orally administered, highly selective small-molecule inhibitor of the ion channel protein Kv1.3. This first-in-class compound recently completed successful Phase 1 clinical trials in healthy volunteers and has demonstrated efficacy in preclinical models of several chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, including ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and atopic dermatitis.
Under the terms of the agreement, Lilly will make an initial payment of $60 million to DESRES, with potential development and commercial milestone payments of up to $475 million, as well as royalties on worldwide sales.
The design of DES-7114 by DESRES was enabled by the use of proprietary special-purpose supercomputers that DESRES developed and constructed to perform ultra-high-speed, atomically detailed simulations of the three-dimensional motion of biologically and pharmaceutically significant molecules. A series of such simulations, in combination with experimental studies, resulted in DESRES's unique understanding of Kv1.3's structural, dynamic, and functional properties, leading to the design of compounds that bind strongly to the target protein while likely avoiding undesirable interactions with other ion channels.
"We're enthusiastic about DES-7114's potential, and are hopeful that it will ultimately have a meaningful impact on the lives of patients throughout the world," said David E. Shaw, Ph.D., chief scientist at DESRES. "We're also enthusiastic about teaming up with Lilly, which is one of the global leaders in therapeutics for immunological diseases, and is exceptionally well positioned to carry the compound forward through clinical development and commercialization."
"Kv1.3 inhibition represents a promising new approach in immunology," said Ajay Nirula, M.D., Ph.D., vice president of immunology at Lilly. "We are particularly excited about DESRES's discovery of DES-7114 because the molecule's properties could translate into significant advantages for addressing unmet patient needs."
D. E. Shaw Research (DESRES) uses advanced computational technologies to understand the behavior of biologically and pharmaceutically significant molecules at an atomic level of detail, and to design precisely targeted, highly selective drugs for the treatment of various diseases. Among its core technologies is a proprietary special-purpose supercomputer that it designed and constructed to perform molecular dynamics simulations more than 100 times faster than the world's fastest general-purpose supercomputers. DESRES uses these machines, together with machine learning methods and other computational techniques, in both internal and collaborative drug discovery programs. For more information, visit www.DEShawResearch.com.
D. E. Shaw Research