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Major drug discovery collaboration

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30 January 2012

G Protein Coupled Receptors
Molecular model of a G protein-coupled receptor indicating potential binding pockets for novel classes of drugs

Les Laboratoires Servier, a leading European pharmaceutical company and the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS), Monash University, have announced a collaborative agreement for drug discovery and research on G Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs), the largest drug target family in the human genome.

The collaboration will make use of MIPS’ acknowledged world leading capability in the identification of novel GPCR targets, in the understanding of GPCR functional biology and in the design of new chemical entities to modulate GPCR activity.

Director of MIPS and Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Monash University, Professor Bill Charman, said he was delighted to partner with Servier.

“This partnership will advance our research and translate our GPCR based drug discovery insights to design new therapeutic agents for major human diseases,” Professor Charman said.

MIPS has developed GPCR expertise comprising technology, research facilities and world-leading scientists that enable it to conduct fundamental research, drug discovery and preclinical drug development activities on GPCR targets with therapeutic potential.

The collaboration will initially run for three years with the research program including known and novel GPCR targets, covering various potential therapeutic fields including metabolism, cardiology, neurology and psychiatry, rheumatology and oncology.

Under the terms of the agreement, MIPS will receive from Servier annual support for research activities undertaken as part of the collaboration and support for up to 15 staff to work exclusively on collaborative projects.

President of Servier, Research and Development, Dr Emmanuel Canet, said the collaboration with MIPS, an acknowledged leader in the field of GPCR biology, would significantly enhance Servier’s capacity to identify and address original targets that may lead to therapies for untreated needs.

Servier Laboratories is one of Europe’s leading pharmaceutical companies. Its main therapeutic products treat diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, rheumatological diseases and central nervous system disorders.