Mironid Ltd, co-founded by Dr Paul Rodgers of Ithaka, awarded Innovate UK Biomedical Catalyst grant.

Glasgow, Scotland, 30th January 2017:  Mironid® Limited, a leader in cell signalling-directed drug discovery, is delighted to start the New Year by initiating a £606K programme to expand its repertoire of proprietary LoAc® molecules.   The work will be 70% funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, through a Biomedical Catalyst Grant, a highly competitive source of funding that is reviewed by technical, commercial and investment specialists.
 
Mironid® will work closely with Sygnature Discovery, the UK's largest independent provider of integrated drug discovery resource and expertise, and Peak Proteins, UK specialists in protein crystallography, to discover new high quality chemical starting points for its novel LoAc® therapeutic approach.  This programme exploits the pioneering work of Professor Miles Houslay, one of the founders of Mironid®, to develop small molecule positive modulators of Phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) enzymes, which break down cyclic AMP (cAMP), a critical intra-cellular signalling molecule.  A high-quality compound library from BioAscent, plus computational modelling and protein X-ray crystallography will be used to generate the next wave of PDE4 regulating molecules unique to Mironid®.  These molecules will form the basis of new therapies against diseases driven by elevated cAMP, such as Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD).
 
ADPKD is a devastating, life-threatening and currently incurable genetic disorder in which kidney cysts progressively form throughout life. Cyst formation is driven by excessive generation of the cell signalling molecule, cAMP and causes a wide range of health problems including abdominal pain, high blood pressure and urinary tract infections, eventually leading to kidney failure. ADPKD affects around 12.5 million people worldwide, with around 50% requiring treatment for kidney failure by the age of 60.

Professor Miles Houslay, CSO of Mironid®, said: “The cAMP signalling pathway and, in particular, the PDE4 enzyme class, is an under-exploited target class with still so much to offer in the way of novel therapies.  My colleagues and I are delighted with this strong support and recognition from Innovate UK. This funding will allow Mironid to leverage its expertise in PDE4 mechanistic biochemistry, together with the advanced capabilities of the UK’s first class life science contract research sector to deliver effective medicines more quickly”.
 
About Mironid®
Mironid® Limited, based in Scotland, UK, is an innovative drug discovery company that develops proprietary drug candidate molecules by modulating the activity of key PDE4 enzymes. The Company’s founders include Prof Miles Houslay who has spent over 30 years investigating the mechanisms of PDE biology while consulting for many of the world’s top Pharmaceutical companies including working with Celgene Corp to develop from inception the PDE4 inhibitor, Apremilast, which is used to treat psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
 
About Innovate UK
Innovate UK is the UK's innovation agency. Innovate UK is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, which works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy.  Since 2007, Innovate UK has committed over £1.8 billion to innovation, matched by a similar amount in partner and business funding.  The agency has helped more than 7,600 organisations with projects estimated to add more than £11.5 billion to the UK economy and create 55,000 extra new jobs.
 
About Sygnature Discovery
Sygnature, founded in 2004, operates a fully-enabled research facility in Nottingham, UK, housing over 140 experienced scientists with all the professional skills required to take on board the most demanding of drug discovery projects and drive them towards a successful outcome.  The company undertakes target validation, hit identification, hit-to-lead and lead optimisation projects.  Sygnature’s capabilities include medicinal chemistry, bioscience, computational chemistry and DMPK.  Since 2011, 8 drug candidates have entered the clinic which were invented at Sygnature.
 
About Peak Proteins
Peak Proteins Limited based at Alderley Park, Cheshire is a small recently formed CRO, specialising in high quality production and purification of proteins in addition to structure determination by X-ray crystallography.  The company is able to leverage several decades of prior pharmaceutical industry experience in successfully delivering protein reagents and X-ray structures to wide range of drug discovery projects.
 
BioAscent Discovery Ltd.
Founded in 2013, BioAscent is the rejuvenated former Merck Sharpe and Dohme (MSD) automated compound management and logistics facility, based within the BioCity Scotland site at Newhouse, Scotland, UK. The company consists of a state-of-the-art facility run by a range of highly skilled management, scientists, and technicians with extensive experience in managing specialist compound libraries. It offers the safe and secure storage of customer compound collections, in addition to formatting and worldwide logistics.  In addition to collection management and distribution, BioAscent provides access to chemical collections through www.compoundcloud.com, offering a completely customisable ex-pharma compound collection in ready to screen formats. Compound Cloud is also used to promote novel compound collections on behalf of owners to the world-wide BioAscent drug discovery network.