Zenobia Therapeutics, Inc. Begins Operations as a Fragment-Based Lead Discovery Company
LA JOLLA, Calif., July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Zenobia Therapeutics, Inc. (Zenobia) announced today that they have initiated research at their facility in La Jolla, California. Zenobia was founded June 1, 2008, is privately funded and moved into their new laboratory and office facilities on July 1. The Zenobia team are leaders in the areas of high-throughput structural biology and fragment-based lead discovery (FBLD).
Zenobia will focus on limited population diseases that are traditionally not pursued by larger companies. Zenobia combines the early-stage drug discovery method of FBLD with the expertise of biologists and clinicians to find treatments for illnesses such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and Muscular Dystrophy. "There is a niche for companies that are passionate about applying innovative approaches to diseases that are not being addressed by mainstream drug discovery organizations," says Dr. Vicki Nienaber, President and founder of Zenobia. "Our mission is to find cures for these patients by working with foundations, granting agencies and leading biologists and clinicians." Zenobia will also provide access to their technology through a limited number of collaborations and partnerships.
Vicki Nienaber is well known for her pioneering work in techniques to find potential drug molecules using fragment-based screening and structure-based drug design. Vicki has managed both drug discovery and pre-clinical development programs. She was recently the Chief Scientific Officer at ActiveSight, a division of Rigaku Americas Corporation, where she built a diverse team of protein biochemistry, X-ray crystallography and drug discovery experts. Before that, Dr. Nienaber was the Senior Director of Lead Discovery and Crystallography at SGX Pharmaceuticals, where she oversaw strategic drug discovery and structural biology alliances with Novartis and Eli Lilly and initiated their internal kinase lead discovery project. While at Abbott Laboratories, she was the lead inventor of crystallographic fragment-based screening, co-inventor of the ACTOR robotic system for automated crystal sample handling and a leader in structure-based drug design methods.
Zenobia's 505 Coast Blvd facility is fully equipped for cloning, expression, purification and crystallization of proteins. Contracts are in place with synchrotron facilities for high-throughput data collection and Zenobia's compound library is available for screening. Drug discovery chemistry and pharmacology will be accessed through contract research organizations and consultants.