Almirall, S.A. (ALM), a global biopharmaceutical company focused on skin health, and University of Dundee, a top-ranked university in the UK for biological sciences, announced today a research collaboration agreement with the aim to identify and develop a novel class of medicines that target and degrade disease-causing proteins. The collaboration brings together Almirall’s strong knowledge in dermatology with the expertise of Professor Alessio Ciulli, one of the pioneers in the field of Targeted Protein Degraders (also known as proteolysis-targeting chimeras, PROTACs), and his research group at the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee. Through this collaboration, Almirall aims at developing drugs for severe skin diseases with high level of unmet medical need.
PROTACs have emerged as a new pharmaceutical modality with the potential to revolutionise drug discovery. They are designed to co-opt the cell’s natural disposal system (the ubiquitin-proteasome) to remove diseasedriving proteins and are expected to be broadly applicable to diverse therapeutic areas such as immunodermatology, onco-dermatology, immunology, oncology, and also respiratory diseases.
The main objective of this collaboration is to identify and develop new compounds on a set of innovative and exclusive biological targets defined by Almirall. “This partnership is an example of how world class university researchers and the pharmaceutical industry can work together to accelerate drug discovery and improve patients’ lives by transformative medicines”, said Dr. Thomas Huber, Research Director at Almirall.
Alessio Ciulli, Ph.D., Chair of Chemical Structural Biology at the University of Dundee and winner of the 2015 EFMC Prize for a Young Medicinal Chemist in Academia: “We are looking forward to working on this new research collaboration with Almirall. We are excited to partner with one of the world-leading pharmaceutical companies in the therapeutic area of dermatology, to advance a next-generation of first-in-class degraders as pharmaceutical agents that will eliminate protein drivers of disease to ultimately benefit patients”.
For more information, please visit almirall.com.