Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

LifeArc, one of the UK’s leading medical research charities, has signed a deal to license an ion channel drug discovery programme to Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited.

Two researchers in a lab

The licensing deal successfully concludes a research collaboration between LifeArc, the University of Oxford's Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Daiichi Sankyo. 

Small molecules, optimised as part of the programme, are capable of affecting the sensitivity of neurons, show efficacy in treating pain and will undergo further pre-clinical development.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr Justin Bryans, LifeArc’s Executive Director, Drug Discovery, said; 'We’re delighted to have been a part of an exciting collaboration that advanced basic research into a pre-clinical development programme within a major global pharmaceutical company. The success of this project is a testament to fantastic teamwork between all involved.' 

Under the terms of the deal Daiichi Sankyo acquires an exclusive worldwide license to a discovery stage programme of small molecules with the potential to develop into novel treatments for intractable pain.

Jeff Jerman, principal senior scientist and LifeArc project lead said; 'The small molecule drug candidates modulate the ion channel that underpins pain sensing.  LifeArc is using the experience and insight in this ion channel subfamily to explore the therapeutic potential of a range of other channels in the subfamily, including, but not exclusively, for pain.'

Summit Pharmaceuticals International Corporation served as advisor to LifeArc in connection with this transaction.

Similar stories

Attention and memory deficits persist for months after recovery from mild COVID

Researchers from Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Department of Experimental Psychology have shown that people who have had COVID but don’t complain of long COVID symptoms in daily life nevertheless can show degraded attention and memory for up to six to nine months.

New Academic Visitor from Nigeria

Associate Professor of Radiology, Godwin Ogbole has arrived on a six-month visit to the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, as part of the Africa Oxford Initiative.

New spinout company: Human-Centric Drug Discovery

Human-Centric Drug Discovery is a new Oxford University spinout company from Professor Zameel Cader's lab.

Funding received for research into Motor Neuron Disease

A £210,000 donation from the Alan Davidson Foundation has been made to our Department to advance our world-leading research into Motor Neuron Disease. The funding will support a project manager to deliver an innovative research project using the genetic causes of MND to develop approaches to early diagnosis.

Research finds drug may benefit some patients hospitalised with COVID-19 pneumonia

A proof-of-concept trial involving Oxford researchers has identified a drug that may benefit some patients hospitalised with COVID-19 pneumonia.

Protein test could lead to earlier and better diagnosis of Parkinson’s

Scientists have observed the clumping of alpha-synuclein in the cerebrospinal fluid taken from people with Parkinson's. The findings offer hope that a pioneering new clinical test could be developed to diagnose Parkinson's correctly in its early stages.