Axxam awarded with EUR 0.5 million by the Lombardy Region to support a innovative high throughput method for early “in vitro” safety risk assessment of compounds

Axxam S.p.A., a privately owned contract research and discovery company, announced today, that it has been awarded with a grant of EUR 0.5 million by the Lombardy Region. This innovative program (called Frozen4Array) is aimed to develop and implement an high throughput method for the early “in vitro” safety assessment of compounds.

The grant will support the development of an excellent tool to asses risks and opportunities of compounds already early in the drug discovery process.
An increasing problem of the drug discovery process in the pharmaceutical industry is the high attrition rate of drug candidates, caused by their unfavorable safety profiles. Therefore to build in, early in the discovery process, a safety assessment for the most promising compounds will help to prioritize the better suited compounds which will improve also the economics of the discovery process. Axxam is building up a panel of 20 different “liability” assays associated with liabilities regarding heart safety, liver toxicology, CNS safety etc. focusing on ion channels, GPCRs and nuclear hormone receptors associated with liabilities.

“The key advantage over existing compound profiling services is the use of functional assays by providing high quality data at an excellent price”, said Dr Lia Scarabottolo, Director of Discovery Services at Axxam. This is achieved by disconnecting the experimental activities (generation of dose response curves for each compound on 20 different liability targets) with the need of permanent cell culturing. Therefore the application of “frozen cells” is essential for the program.