SAN DIEGO, October 5, 2017 – ChemDiv Inc., a fully integrated California-based CRO, announced that it has entered into a discovery chemistry partnership with Afraxis for its Phase I study to advance big data phenotypic profiling platform for CNS drug discovery. Afraxis, the winner of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I award from the National Institute on Aging, is working on a patented platform that quantifies brain-wide synaptic structures (dendritic spines) and plasticity for drug discovery. Within the framework of this partnership, ChemDiv will use its proprietary discovery chemistry platform to help Afraxis overcome a critical bottleneck in late-phase preclinical discovery: large-scale CNS in vivo efficacy and toxicity evaluations.
Under the terms of the collaboration, Afraxis will obtain the access to ChemDiv’s vast resources in modern drug discovery, extensive experience in discovery chemistry, as well as its 1.6 million unique compound collection, while ChemDiv will capitalize on its unique approach to discovery chemistry to help advance Afraxis’ Phase I goal of investigating ketamine’s antidepressant activities on brain-wide synaptic circuits using Afraxis Enhanced Spine Profiling (ESP) platform. While in vivo assays usually require many weeks or even months, the ESP platform allows for a significant increase in the number of compounds screened and brain regions analyzed, reducing the time and resources necessary for in vivo CNS phenotyping.
“Afraxis has developed a unique platform that employs super-resolution microscopy, Artificial Intelligence (AI) neural network applications to image analysis, as well as high-dimensional statistical models, and the Phase I study will allow this new platform to blossom and revolutionize CNS drug discovery,” commented Rouslan Michtchenko, Sr. Director Business Development at ChemDiv. “We at ChemDiv are proud to be a part of this study and are looking forward to the fruits on the synergy between Afraxis’ unique CNS platform and our innovative discovery chemistry approach.”
ChemDiv is a recognized global leader in discovery chemistry with one of the industry’s largest, most diverse, and most productive collections of over 1,600,000 lead-like small molecules. Over the past 25+ years the ChemDiv team has delivered hundreds of leads, drug candidates and new drug approvals in the areas of CNS, oncology, virology, inflammation, immunology, cardio and metabolic diseases to its pharma and biotech customers around the globe. ChemDiv’s integrated drug discovery and evaluation platforms allow for an accelerated, cost-effective R&D process aimed at rapidly bringing a project from target ID to Phase 3 clinical candidate and beyond.
Afraxis Inc. is a contract research organization (CRO) specializing in:
- CNS preclinical efficacy evaluations (in vivo & in vitro)
- Neurotoxicity evaluations
- Structure-Efficacy Relationship (SER)-driven medicinal chemistry
Afraxis’ patented ESP (Enhanced Spine Profiling) technology produces rapid, high-information read-outs of synaptic networks from in-vivo/in-vitro/ex-vivo preparations. The ESP process incorporates specialized labeling of individual neurons; high-resolution imaging; rapid high-detail morphometry of individual cells, processes, and synapses; and powerful statistical methods and analytical displays tailored for efficient interpretation of large data sets.