Locus Pharmaceuticals Enters into Second Drug Discovery Agreement on Kinases with Ono Pharmaceutical

Date Posted: Wednesday, November 07, 2007

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Locus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has announced that it has entered into a second research agreement with Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Based on this agreement, Locus will apply its proprietary computational technologies and capabilities in chemistry, biology and crystallography to design and develop IND-directed preclinical drug candidates for Ono. The molecular target is a protein kinase newly selected by Ono. Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

In July, 2006, Ono and Locus entered into a drug discovery agreement targeting a kinase selected by Ono with the goal of identifying small molecule inhibitors of the targeted kinase.

Since the start of this collaboration, Locus has successfully applied its proprietary technology and fragment-based virtual libraries to fully characterize the collaboration target, identify potent and patentable inhibitors and is in the process of optimizing novel IND lead candidates.

Based on the progress achieved in the ongoing collaboration and Ono’s appreciation of Locus’ unique capabilities in its integrated drug discovery approach, Ono decided to start a second collaboration with Locus on a newly selected kinase.

“We are pleased with the progress of our existing Ono collaboration and are strongly encouraged by the confidence expressed by Ono to initiate a second discovery program,” said H. Joseph Reiser, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Locus.

“Having now applied our leading computational technology to many drug discovery targets including kinases, we enter this new collaboration with increased confidence to deliver strong results,” Reiser said.

“We highly appreciate the competitive Locus infrastructure for drug discovery which effectively integrates their proprietary computational approaches,” said Kazuhito Kawabata, Ph.D., Executive Director of Strategic Alliance Headquarters, Ono. “We are glad to expand our collaboration and look forward to realizing high value drug candidates.”

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