Locus Pharmaceuticals has announced that it has entered into a research agreement with Ono Pharmaceutical, whereby Locus will apply its proprietary computational technologies and capabilities in chemistry, biology and crystallography to design and develop preclinical drug candidates for Ono. The molecular target is a protein kinase selected by Ono. Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Protein kinases function as control switches for many biochemical pathways inside cells. Kinase activities can become dysregulated by numerous molecular and signaling events, thus contributing to both the onset and progression of diseases. These proteins are of particular interest as targets for the development of novel therapeutics, but because there are more than 500 structurally related kinases, a drug often requires high selectivity for the intended target, a design capability where Locus has demonstrated expertise.