Beactica double winner in EU-financed drug discovery projects

14 September 2007

Uppsala, Sweden – September 14th, 2007

Beactica, the specialist drug discovery company spun out of Uppsala University in 2006, will partner in two separate projects both of which have been selected for major grants through the 7th EU Framework Programme. In each project Beactica will apply its drug discovery platform to accelerate the identification of novel compounds with high development potential to address significant clinical needs. The total EU contribution for the two projects exceeds € 12.5 million of which Beactica will receive about € 700 000.

"We are delighted to be selected for two substantial awards in our first year of operation and consider this a strong endorsement of our unique discovery platform. The two grants will enable us to build our own drug discovery pipeline further and expand our staff.” said Dr Per Källblad, CEO, Beactica.

In the first project Beactica will, together with a large network of partners, tackle a family of proteins know as Cys-loop receptors. These receptors are crucial to the function of the peripheral and central nervous system and have been implicated in muscle disorders, epilepsy, nicotine addiction, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. Beactica’s collaboration partners include Cambridge University, EMBL Heidelberg, Pasteur Institute and the Free University of Amsterdam. The first project will run over four years.

In the second project Beactica will play a key part in a smaller consortium that aims to develop novel drugs against influenza. Annual influenza epidemics are thought to result in three to five million cases of severe illness and 250 000 to 500 000 deaths every year. The project was identified by the EU expert panel as particularly interesting because of its innovative scientific solution targeting a protein-protein interaction to decrease the sensitivity to viral resistance mutations. The second project will run over two years.

"The fact that Beactica has been selected as the preferred drug discovery partner in two very different projects indicates the broad applicability of our drug discovery platform” commented Professor Helena Danielson, Beactica’s Chief Scientific Officer.

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