ChemCodes has signed a research agreement with Roche to use ChemCodes’ chemistry platform to discover and optimize synthetic reactions to produce lead compounds for what is called an important target from the Swiss healthcare company.

ChemCodes says it will engage its medicinal chemistry platform that includes high throughput chemical reactivity mapping, experimental design, experimental tracking, chemo-informatics and data analysis tools. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We are delighted to sign this deal with Roche,” says Steve Holdaway, chief operating officer for ChemCodes. “It is a pivotal point in the evolution of this company from an R&D-focused chemistry technology platform to an operational drug discovery company.”

Holdaway says ChemCodes has been in discussions with Roche for several months and during that time, has demonstrated scientific merit, as well as potential commercial value. He adds that ChemCodes is in discussions with a number of other pharmaceutical partners to add value to its chemistry efforts in drug discovery.

ChemCodes is a chemistry-driven drug discovery company that is focused on R&D collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. ChemCodes is using its high throughput chemistry platform to enable its collaborators to develop new pharmaceutical compounds with improved medicinal properties in a process that reduces drug discovery cycle times and utilizes fewer resources.

“At ChemCodes, we believe that the discovery and application of new chemistries for hit scaffolds will generate novel lead compounds for our partners,” John Didsbury, president and chief executive officer of ChemCodes, said in a statement.

Founded in June 1999, ChemCodes is based on a proprietary early-stage technology that was licensed from GlaxoSmithKline and developed into an integrated platform over the past two and a half years. The company’s headquarters are in Research Triangle Park. It is backed by $8.5 million from Intersouth Partners of Durham, Noro-Moseley Partners of Atlanta, Tri-State Investment Group of Durham and Emerging Technology Partners of Rockville, MD, which made a $1-million investment in April.