Blue skies, streaked with clouds – an unending expanse of grid to stand on – and one massive molecule: in the drug-discovering virtual world, for the first time, scientists can get up close and personal with the drugs they’re designing. Grabbing hold of a virtual molecule, floating in space before them, using two lightsaber-wielding claw-like hands, the chemist can get as close to touching the desired structure as is (meta)physically possible.
“Starting to use VR was quite transformative, because all of a sudden the molecules become part of my world and I can manipulate them in space just ahead of me, like you would do comparing two oranges and two apples,” says Thorsten Nowak, medicinal chemist at C4XD. With the VR platform, drug discovery “became as visual as it can really ever be”.
Clive Dix, chief executive of C4X Discovery Holdings plc (LON:C4XD), discusses with Proactive's Andrew Scott their licensing deal with FTSE 250-listed Indivior for its addiction behaviour suppressant, C4X3256.
It is the first major partnership for C4X, which will receive US$10mln up front and a further US$284mln dependent on how successful the drug proves.
Shares in U.K. biotech C4X Discovery almost doubled today after Reckitt Benkiser spinout Indivior agreed to a $294 million deal for a drug candidate to treat addiction.
Indivior is paying $10 million upfront for global rights to C4X3256, an orexin-1 (OX1) receptor antagonist in preclinical development that C4XD said has potential in just about any form of addiction—including tobacco, opioid analgesic and alcohol—as it targets the feeling of craving itself...
Industries collide, collaborate at Build: London 2017
The company’s 4Sight project pioneers the creation of a specialised visualiser to allow its research scientists to view, understand and interrogate the complex, multidimensional molecular shape data of drug molecules. Having measured these shapes using the company’s proprietary Conformetrix technology, this “4D molecular data” can then be visualised and manipulated to inspire the design of drug molecules in new and innovative ways. Working from both a desktop environment and within a VR space, the visualiser also facilitates simultaneous collaboration with multiple stakeholders across various sites.
“4Sight allows users to see the results of an experiment and a view of drug molecules in ways that have never before been possible”, as C4X’s Chief Scientific Officer Craig Fox explains.
Clive Dix, chief executive of C4X Discovery Holdings plc, (LON:C4XD) brings Proactive up to speed on developments with the firm's portfolio of drug candidates.
They've recently presented some pre-clinical data at a leading industry conference which they say strengthens the evidence base backing the potential of the anti-addiction drug Orexin-1. It's being developed to target the craving process and therefore is expected to be used across a broad range of substance disorders. The latest study assessed nicotine self-administration and cue-induced reinstatement; the latter is where strong cravings are triggered by an object or ritual closely associated with taking an addictive substance.
Bhavna is building the commercial team having, together with the CEO, re-shaped the company’s strategy, and supported the recent £7 million raise. Bhavna is establishing collaborations with international organisations to harness the best drug discovery capabilities for the development of new treatments. She is also developing alliances with UK non-profit organisations to maximise the impact of intellectual value developed by academics and in-house at C4X.