Inspire Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ISPH) is collaborating with Discovery Partners International (Nasdaq: DPII) for optimization of lead compounds in a program that may be important in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

Financial terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.

“We are again joining efforts with Discovery Partners to expand on the very successful partnership that is already in place with Discovery Partners for rapid, cost-effective high throughput screening of P2Y12 antagonist compounds,” Jose Boyer, senior director of molecular pharmacology for Inspire, said. “By extending the collaboration to include lead optimization, we are able to tap into Discovery Partners’ full range of capabilities in combinatorial, computational, medicinal and analytical chemistry, enabling our internal scientists to focus on developing assays and synthesizing molecules for new targets.”

Within the P2Y receptor family, Inspire’s primary focus has been the P2Y2 receptor, which is targeted for diseases of mucosal hydration and mucociliary clearance, such as dry eye and intranasal disorders. Other P2Y receptors, such as P2Y12, are known to be involved in the clumping together of platelet cells in the blood, and offer opportunities for new therapies in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

Although normal platelet function is important for protection against vascular injury, Inspire says unwanted activation of platelets is associated with serious cardiovascular diseases. Inspire is already testing several P2Y12 antagonists discovered in-house in preclinical models of platelet aggregation and thrombosis in a lab in Strasbourg, France.

Discovery Partners offers a range of integrated services and products, including target characterization, high throughput screening, lead generation, lead optimization, high throughput synthesis automation, and gene expression analysis. Discovery is headquartered in San Diego and has operations in the United States and Europe.

Inspire Pharmaceuticals: www.inspirepharm.com

Discovery Partners: www.discoverypartners.com