Target Class and Disease Expertise

Selcia’s scientists have a wealth of experience gained in the pharmaceutical industry with companies such as GSK, Merck, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Aventis, Novartis and Rhone-Poulenc.

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Selcia was established in 2005, since then Selcia employees have been named as inventors on 24 patents related to discoveries made at Selcia on behalf of clients. Our employees are also named on a significantly larger number of patents that pre-date the formation of Selcia. In addition, our staff has authored 19 scientific publications based on their work at Selcia and over 300 papers prior to joining the company.

We have highlighted below some key areas of expertise that Selcia Discovery specialises in:

Enzymology targets

Selcia has significant expertise in enzymatic targets and has an additional specific interest in Peptidyl Prolyl Isomerase enzymes (PPIases). These chaperone proteins play an important role in protein folding and subsequent signalling pathways have been validated as targets in the regulation of a rapidly increasing number of important disease states. The field is fast emerging as an attractive new area for drug research and development.

Selcia has, and continues to develop, a number of PPIase assays, both binding and functional, to support drug discovery programmes that have led to clinical candidates in several therapeutic areas.

GPCR targets

Selcia scientists have a wealth of historical and on-going experience with GPCR targets and have delivered a clinical candidate and back up compounds on GPCR projects. Having identified potent lead compounds, critical issues of selectivity, DMPK, novel IP space, synthesis route development and cost of goods were all resolved. Our policy is to obtain early, essential-to-have ADME/PK data early in the critical path in order to rapidly identify key developability issues and address these according to the molecular profile required for the target indication.

The company has also worked on orphan GPCR projects, establishing biological assays and leads for follow up.

Ion channel and ligand-gated ion channel targets

Selcia has medicinal chemistry expertise in the lead optimisation of chemistries towards selective ion-channel blockade with the patch-clamping biology being performed by the customer or by one of our partner CROs who provide the electrophysiology.

Anti-infective therapeutic area

Selcia Discovery specialises in the entire anti-infective therapeutic area (antivirals, antibacterials antifungals and antiparasitics). This integrates well with our interest in natural products as a rich and diverse source of starting points for medicinal chemistry optimisation, an approach exited by much of big-pharma in the 1990s. Working in the anti-infective area requires a detailed understanding of the mechanisms that enable viruses, bacteria and fungi to infect and exploit host cells for reproduction. Initial primary screening assays are carried out in-house followed by physiologically-tailored secondary assays and models outsourced to collaborators.

Metabolic diseases

Selcia has medicinal chemistry programmes and has developed supporting assays targeting mitochondrial disorders and validated targets expressed in mitochondrial tissue.

Other therapeutic areas

  • Inflammatory diseases e.g. arthritis
  • Dermatology
  • Ophthalmology – e.g. Uveitis, Glaucoma, AMD, pain and ocular inflammation
  • CNS disorders, pain

Areas of specific expertise of key scientists within Selcia

In addition to the areas highlighted above, some of the specific competences of senior scientists within the group gained in recent years in big pharma include:

  • Respiratory diseases – Asthma, COPD, Long Acting Muscarinic Antagonists, Beta Agonists.
  • Pain/CNS/Neurodegeneration e.g. (TrpV, P2X,  NaV and CaV channels, , ERbeta, FAAH, iNOS, CB2, EP, P2Y receptors, VLA4, S1P1, NOGO, MAG ), anxiety (GABA), depression (inositol, NK1), emesis (NK1), schizophrenia (D4, NK3), panic disorder (CCKB), stroke (NMDA, Gly-NMDA), Parkinson’s disease (D2, LRRK2) and Alzheimer’s disease (BACE, g-secretase, NAChR, MARK, H3, 5HT4, 5HT6, PPARg).