IRBM and Merck & Co Cooperate on Peptides
Italian research organization IRBM has signed a new agreement with Merck & Co on peptides therapeutics, extending a collaboration begun in 2010. In the newest round, it will leverage 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 drug target.
Over the past 15 years, the Italian R&D specialist said the pharmaceutical industry has made significant investments in peptide-based candidates for different therapeutic areas. A number of technological advancements and, more recently characteristics, that were previously considered a liability for peptides, such as stability and solubility, “are no longer considered insurmountable obstacles,” it added
Chief scientific officer, Carlo Toniatti, said the new pact with the US drugmaker fits IRBM’s mission to “advance impactful agents into the clinic.” Emma Parmee, vice president of global discovery chemistry at Merck & Co, said that evaluating the potential of peptide-based therapeutic candidates is a “key part of the company’s discovery strategy.”