CHENGDU, China, July 27, 2022 – Shanghai Stock Exchange listed company HitGen Inc. (“HitGen”) today announced that it has entered into a research collaboration agreement with LoQus23 Therapeutics Ltd (“LoQus23”), a private biotechnology company discovering small molecule therapies that target aberrant DNA damage repair to treat Huntington’s disease and other triplet repeat diseases (TRDs). HitGen will apply its DNA-encoded library (DEL) technology platform to discover compounds that bind to certain targets that are of interest to LoQus23.
Triplet repeat diseases are genetic disorders that primarily affect the nervous system and are caused by abnormal trinucleotide repeat expansions. Human genome-wide association studies on Huntington’s disease and other TRDs have demonstrated that clinical disease measures, such as age of onset and rate of progression, are critically modified by genetic variants that increase mismatch repair pathway activity. Aberrant activity of this pathway leads to further expansions of trinucleotide repeats in the DNA sequence. That, in turn, translates into more toxicity in the neurons of vulnerable brain regions, thus accelerating the rate of neurodegeneration. LoQus23’s differentiated, structure-based approach targets DNA damage repair proteins with small molecule drugs to stop DNA instability and slow neurodegeneration in Huntington’s disease, myotonic dystrophy type 1 and other TRDs.
HitGen is a world leader in the development of the DEL technology and its applications to early-stage small molecule drug discovery. To explore therapies for the challenging TRDs, LoQus23 will provide novel targets, and HitGen will screen its expansive DELs of over 1.2 trillion small molecules against these targets.
“LoQus23 is a highly innovative company with in-depth expertise in pursuing genetically-validated targets for the treatment of triplet repeat diseases. We look forward to working with LoQus23 to identify novel small molecule starting points from DNA-encoded libraries. We will work closely with LoQus23 scientists to generate new lead compounds for their research programs to address unmet medical needs associated with aberrant DNA damage repair and improve the lives of patients with devastating genetic diseases,” said Dr. Jin Li, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of HitGen.
“HitGen is a world leader in DNA-encoded libraries and we look forward to working with their scientists to discover small molecule hits for novel DNA damage repair targets to expand the portfolio of innovative projects at LoQus23 ” said Dr. David Reynolds, LoQus23’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer.
HitGen has built four core technology platforms including DNA-encoded library (DEL), molecular fragment and structure design (FBDD/SBDD), synthetic therapeutic oligonucleotide (STO) and targeted protein degradation (TPD). HitGen’s DEL technology platform, centered around the design, synthesis and interrogation of thousands of DELs that collectively comprise over 1.2 trillion small, drug-like molecules, is also capable of providing services and products including DEL screening, customized DEL library, OpenDEL®, etc. Over the past few years, HitGen has worked with its partners to utilize the DEL platform to generate nearly 500 licensed novel chemical structures for their research projects.