Orion Biotechnology Completes Discovery of First-in-Class Molecule Against Undrugged GPCR Target in Four Months

Ottawa, Canada, July 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Orion Biotechnology Canada Ltd. (Orion), a drug discovery and development company unlocking the therapeutic potential of previously undruggable G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs), today announced that it has successfully completed a discovery campaign against CXCR6, an undrugged small protein GPCR with the potential to provide a new and innovative form of immunotherapy treatment for solid tumor cancers. Completed in only four months, the rapid identification of this first-in-class (FIC) molecule further validates Orion’s PROcisionXTM discovery platform’s industry-leading efficiency.

CXCR6 is expressed in several subsets of T cells, natural killer T cells, and bone marrow stromal cells, and the main physiological role of the CXCR6-CXCL16 axis is to activate numerous signaling pathways essential to regulating immunity. Boosting signaling through the CXCR6-CXCL16 axis in the tumor microenvironment has the potential to provide a new route to block solid tumor growth by helping to maintain anti-tumor cytotoxic T cells in an aggressive, non-exhausted state.

“We are very excited about the significant progress we continue to make across our portfolio” said Dr. Ian McGowan, the company’s Chief Medical Officer. “Orion’s discovery success will allow for a new and highly differentiated strategy to drug CXCR6 for the treatment of cancer and other inflammatory diseases.”

Dr. Oliver Hartley (VP Discovery) commented: “Small protein GPCRs have proven challenging to unlock using established small molecule and antibody-based approaches. This rapid success provides further evidence that Orion’s novel scientific approach can unlock previously undrugged small protein GPCRs and provides a clear illustration of the efficiency of our PROcisionXTM discovery platform.”

Orion’s CEO Mark Groper remarked: “Unlocking previously intractable GPCRs represents a tremendous opportunity to develop new treatments across a broad range of therapeutic areas. Our rapid success with a new small protein GPCR marks another key milestone in our mission to deliver medicines that improve the lives of patients. The combination of our highly talented team and our PROcisionXTM platform is allowing our company to rapidly and efficiently build out a multi-product pipeline of high-value GPCR-targeted therapeutics.”

About Orion Biotechnology

Orion’s mission is to unlock the therapeutic potential of previously undruggable GPCRs. Orion has world-renowned expertise in GPCR pharmacology and protein engineering, and its proprietary drug discovery platform (PROcisionXTM) has been used to rapidly and efficiently advance a diversified portfolio of GPCR-targeted drug candidates for the treatment of cancer and other serious diseases. For more information, follow Orion Biotechnology on LinkedIn or visit www.orionbiotechnology.com


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