Neurocrine Biosciences and Jnana Therapeutics collaborates to discover medicines for CNS disorders

Neurocrine Biosciences and Jnana Therapeutics have entered into a research collaboration to discover novel small molecule therapeutics for multiple targets for central nervous system (CNS) disorders.

The collaboration will leverage Jnana’s proprietary drug discovery platform across the solute carrier (SLC) family of transporters and Neurocrine’s research and development expertise in CNS disorders to advance new medicines.

Under the terms of the agreement, Neurocrine and Jnana will work jointly to identify novel compounds, after which time Neurocrine will be responsible for further lead optimization, and the development and commercialization of any potential therapies arising from the collaboration.

Neurocrine will also provide Jnana with one-time access to a subset of its compound library for Jnana to screen for hits on a select number of non-CNS targets. As part of the collaboration, Jnana will receive an up-front payment and committed research funding to support discovery efforts. In addition, Jnana is eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties based upon products resulting from this collaboration.

Neurocrine Biosciences chief research officer Dr Dimitri Grigoriadis said: “We are excited to partner with Jnana Therapeutics as their proprietary drug discovery platform complements our commitment to neuroscience innovation.

“At Neurocrine, we have extensive experience in developing new medicines targeted to the solute carrier family of transporters, such as VMAT2, which led to the discovery of valbenazine. We look forward to working with Jnana to discover important new medicines for patients with central nervous system disorders.”

Jnana cofounder and chief scientific officer Dr Joel Barrish said: “We are very pleased to be entering into this strategic collaboration with Neurocrine Biosciences. Their deep knowledge in neuroscience and of the solute carrier family of transporters makes them an ideal partner as we work together to discover new medicines to treat CNS disorders.

“This collaboration also demonstrates Neurocrine’s confidence in Jnana’s proprietary small molecule platform to address therapeutic targets rapidly and comprehensively across the SLC transporter family.”

The SLC family of metabolite transporters is a supergroup of membrane proteins comprising more than 400 members arranged across more than 50 families.

SLCs are the gatekeepers for metabolite pathways, controlling the movement of metabolites in and out of cells and organelles. As regulators of the location of hundreds of metabolites, which serve as important communication channels for cells, SLCs play a crucial role in health and disease.

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