Two local firms, Norak Biosciences and Scynexis, have entered into a research collaboration to discover and develop novel pharmaceutical compounds.

Under the agreement, Norak has transferred to Scynexis certain active compounds and chemical structures from its proprietary Transfluor screening exercise of its chemical libraries against its novel desensitization targets. These will add to Norak’s internal drug discovery pipeline.

Transfluor technology, which Norak licensed from Duke University in 1999, is a patented, universal G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) drug discovery technology designed to discover ligands for GPCR targets, whether known or orphan.

Norak’s collaboration with Scynexis provides it access to a research unit that includes MedChem-Factory technology, Hit Explorer Operating System software and medicinal chemistry expertise. This access will help Norak identify new lead drug targets by producing large, focused compound libraries and then extracting clinical candidates.

“We are pleased to enter into this chemistry collaboration with such an exceptional medicinal chemistry company,” commented Norak President and CEO Roger Blevins. “Scynexis’ proprietary compound library purification, analytical tools and strong medicinal chemistry expertise will rapidly advance our discoveries.”

While the companies did not disclose specific financial terms, Norak will receive exclusive worldwide rights to products developed through the collaboration in exchange for technology access fees and other compensation for Scynexis technologies and services.

“Scynexis is pleased to collaborate with Norak in the discovery and development of new drugs,” said Yves Ribeill, president and CEO of Synexis. “This collaboration allows our companies to match complementary innovative technologies, which have been validated by transactions with key pharmaceutical industry organizations, in a research unit arrangement that provides for mutual success.”