Nijmegen and Amsterdam, The Netherlands, February 20th, 2017: Mercachem, a privately owned leading European contract research organization offering innovative medicinal chemistry solutions and UbiQ, a biotech company focused on the development and commercialization of research tools and small molecule drugs targeting the ubiquitin system, have established a new company called SumiQ Therapeutics to develop a targeted therapy for Myc-driven cancers, an unrivaled challenge in modern oncology research.
Functional genomics screens have revealed that the activation of oncogenes Myc, NOTCH1 or mutant KRAS generates a cancer-specific dependency on SUMOylation. SumiQ aims to exploit this cancer vulnerability by targeting protein SUMOylation.
“We are excited that we can contribute with our strong medicinal chemistry expertise to the success of SumiQ, and to collaborate with a very knowledgeable team in protein SUMOylation, jointly aiming at pushing the frontiers in cancer research,” commented Frank Leemhuis, Managing Director of Mercachem. He further added: “We will leverage our in-house expertise applying our knowledge in medicinal chemistry to develop novel compounds with favorable safety and efficacy profiles, qualifying as first-in-class drug candidates.
“This partnership with Mercachem allows us to demonstrate the application of our Triple E technology platform in developing mechanism-based covalent SUMOylation inhibitors” commented Alfred Nijkerk, CEO of UbiQ. Acting also as CEO of SumiQ, Alfred added: “I am delighted that we were able to secure funding for the next three years to build an experienced hands-on team contributed by both founding companies.”
UbiQ is a spin-out of the Netherlands Cancer Institute and based at the Amsterdam Science Park in the Netherlands. UbiQ has generated some of the first commercially available custom ubiquitinated peptides and now distributes a whole range of ubiquitinrelated reagents worldwide. In addition to enabling drug discovery in the rapidly expanding ubiquitin research field, UbiQ is also actively developing small molecule
inhibitors that target the ubiquitin system. UbiQ’s Triple E technology exploits a reactive group that specifically traps the E1, E2 and E3 ubiquitinating enzymes. By adding this ‘hook’ onto ubiquitin itself or onto a peptide or small molecule, it has now, for the first time, become possible to specifically monitor and block the activity of dozens of enzymes involved in protein ubiquitination. This technology was published in Nature Chemical Biology in May 2016. More information can be found on the company website www.ubiqbio.com.
Mercachem is a privately owned leading European contract research organization (CRO) offering innovative chemistry, parallel chemistry, medicinal chemistry and early process research services and GMP production to accelerate the drug discovery and development process in a flexible and cost-effective way. Working for many pharmaceutical and biotech companies throughout the world, Mercachem is recognized for its high-quality products and services and its unprecedented problem solving capabilities. More information on Mercachem can be found on the company website mercachem.com