Bioinformatics-driven Eisai subsidiary inks discovery alliance

Eisai subsidiary H3 Biomedicine has drummed up lots of interest in its bioinformatics-driven approach to cancer therapies since setting up shop in Massachusetts in 2011. The latest to talk up the strategy is Polish biotech Selvita, which has teamed up with H3 to investigate several kinase targets.

Selvita has worked in the area since 2008, building a kinase biology platform and medicinal chemistry capabilities. The plan now is to wed these capabilities to H3's cancer genomics, bioinformatics and target validation platforms to confirm the importance and druggability of several kinase targets. H3 and Selvita will both probe the targets in specific genetic contexts with a view to achieving preclinical proof-of-concept.

H3 now has several drug discovery alliances, all of which leverage its genomics-driven approach to delivering new therapeutic candidates. "Our goal at H3 Biomedicine is to--in a very focused way--utilize the genomic information from public and proprietary data sets to identify and validate highly relevant cancer genes and to develop effective therapies against those targets," CEO Markus Warmuth said.

Eisai freed H3 to focus on this goal by backing it with $200 million and taking a hands-off approach to scientific strategy. If any compounds advance to human trials and commercialization, Eisai will step in to handle clinical development and marketing. Eisai also shares its databases and infrastructure with H3. The subsidiary is applying these assets to developing drugs that target the gene SF3b1, and last year singled out its bioinformatics team as a key contributor to the program.

- read the H3 release
- check out Boston Business Journal's take
- brush up on H3's background