DUBLIN, Ireland, Dec. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- DELopen, an open platform based on block chain technology, supported by WuXi AppTec Co. LTD., Y-gene Biotech Co., Ltd., and academia/institutions dedicated to the development and application of DNA Encoded Library (DEL) Technology, announced its launch to better connect industry and academia to utilize DEL technology in drug discovery via its website DELopen.org.
Pioneered by Dr. Richard A. Lerner and Dr. Sydney Brenner in 1992, boosted by the revolution of next gen sequencing in the early 2000's, DEL has gradually become a disruptive drug discovery alternative to traditional high-throughput screening, evidenced by multiple examples of DEL compounds entering clinical trials. In the past decade, most of the major pharmaceutical companies have started accessing this technology via internal effort or external partnerships. In contrast to high throughput screening, DEL requires very small amounts of target protein and minimum assay development. DEL selection can also be performed on benchtop and does not require complex instrumentation. Most importantly, it disrupts the concept of "cost-per-well" and allows testing billions of compounds in one test tube. However, due to the nature of DEL technology, heavy investment must be made in the upfront library synthesis, and also downstream data mining and management, limiting the access for academia and individual companies. To date, most of the collaborations take a fee-based format between library providers and screeners. In-depth collaboration in these relationships has also been limited by intellectual property complications. Providing an effective method for information sharing and protection of intellectual property through a neutral third-party platform will undoubtedly bring changes to the whole industry.
In their insightful article "DNA-Encoded Compound Libraries as Open Source: A Powerful Pathway to New Drugs" (2016), Dr. Lerner and Dr. Brenner wrote, "We envision a system that operates as follows. A pharmaceutical or a biotech company provides an encoded library, but not the code, to a researcher. The researcher does a binding assay on the bench top and carries out the PCR on the binding molecules to read the code in the form of DNA sequences. These sequences are returned to the owner of the library who now knows the nature of the molecules bound as well as some of their structure–activity relationships from truncated molecules. If the nature of the discovered molecules looks interesting, then everyone wins. The pharmaceutical company gets a drug lead and the researcher gets a tool compound to help further dissect the role of the target molecule in health and disease. Of course, such collaborations will be accompanied by license relation-ships so that the partners both share in a commercial success. In the end, the problem reduces to the question of how will creators of huge libraries make them an open source for academia?"
The goal of the DELopen platform is to provide free access of DEL libraries owned by participating partners to academic users for research in drug discovery. Blockchain technology will assist in proving the IP assets, origin, and proof of ownership, without any disclosure of data. We envision that the new platform provides full protection of intellectual properties for both user and technology provider thus lowers the IP barrier and promotes in-depth collaboration. Ultimately, the industry/academia alliance will unlock the true potential of DEL technology for future drug discovery.
"This is a game changer to worldwide drug discovery. I am grateful that WuXi, with its superior chemical capability, will open this opportunity to academic researchers to advance the discovery effort and technology," said Dr. Richard A. Lerner.
"DELopen is surely going to create a revolutionary discovery platform not only in the pharmaceutical industry but also in biomedical research in general. The past decade has fully demonstrated the potential and utilities of DEL as a drug discovery tool," said Xiaoyu Li, Chief scientist from Y-gene Biotech Co., Ltd. "Now DELopen has extended the power of DEL with the innovative strength of academic and institutional researchers. We are extremely excited by the opportunity and thrilled to be able to contribute to this initiative."
DELopen is a platform connecting industry and academic research institutions to promote the sharing of scientific research information and the protection of intellectual property. Through DELopen, researchers and institutions engaged in the development of new drugs with DEL technology can more quickly conduct early drug development and push the results to commercialization as soon as possible.
About WuXi AppTec
WuXi AppTec is a leading global pharmaceutical and medical device open-access capability and technology platform company with global operations. As an innovation-driven and customer-focused company, WuXi AppTec provides a broad and integrated portfolio of services to help our worldwide customers and partners shorten the discovery and development time and lower the cost of drug and medical device R&D through cost-effective and efficient solutions. With its industry-leading capabilities such as small molecule drug R&D and manufacturing, cell therapy and gene therapy R&D and manufacturing, drug R&D and medical device testing, WuXi platform is enabling more than 3,000 innovative collaborators from more than 30 countries to bring innovative healthcare products to patients, and to fulfill WuXi's dream that "every drug can be made and every disease can be treated."
About WuXi DNA-Encode Library (DEL) Technology Service
WuXi DEL Technology Service provides customers with a cutting-edge hit identification and optimization platform using an affinity-based selection method against DNA-Encoded small molecule libraries. With operations in China, Europe and North America, clients span from small biotechnology companies to big pharmaceutical companies.
About Y-gene Biotech Co., Ltd.
Shenzhen Y-gene Biotech Co., Ltd. was founded by professors who have decades of experiences in the field of DNA-encoded library (DEL) technology. The company has developed a number of leading DEL preparation and selection technologies, established an innovative drug discovery platform, and has been providing rapid and effective library screening services to meet the drug discovery needs of customers worldwide.
About Blockchain technology
Blockchain is a tamper-proof digital ledger that records activity in a transparent, secure, and accessible format. As a tool for improving security, transparency, and efficiency, its potential applications in the pharmaceutical and medical industries are numerous. Intellectual property is arguably the most significant aspect of any new drug, as the core and most critical part of a patent is its Composition of Matter. In the patent office, proving a patent requires four aspects:
* Proof of creator
* When was it created?
* What was included on the date of creation?
* Proof that the content was not altered
Use of blockchain, in this case, will assist in proving the IP assets, origin, and proof of ownership, without any disclosure of data.