Updated on 30 April 2012
Dr Joong Myung Cho, president & CEO, CrystalGenomics
According to the Global Burden of Disease and Risk Factors (World Bank Publications, 2006), infectious diseases are one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide. Deaths caused by bacterial infections have reached more than 10 million annually and bacterial resistance is a growing problem. To overcome this issue, leading companies are working on developing antibacterial agents.
AstraZeneca, a major international healthcare company has entered into research collaboration with CrystalGenomics, a publicly-held South Korean company to discover and develop a novel anti-infective for use as a potential antibacterial agent. This is the first such infection research collaboration AstraZeneca has entered into with a Korea-based company.
CrystalGenomics, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, has emerged as a leading structural chemoproteomics-based drug R&D company. Started in 2000 by Dr Joong Myung Cho, along with other scientists namely Dr Seonggu Ro and Dr Ho-Jin Chang, all employed with LG Life Sciences (formerly LG Chem). Now, CrystalGenomics has 65 staff with 23 PhD holders.
CrystalGenomics won the BioSpectrum Asia Pacific Emerging Company of the Year Award for 2010.
Under the terms of this agreement, CrystalGenomics will receive research funding from AstraZeneca for two years. CrystalGenomics will also be eligible to receive future milestones and royalty payments associated with development and commercialization of a drug candidate. AstraZeneca and CrystalGenomics will perform in-vitro enzyme and cell-based assays, structure determination, medicinal chemistry, pharmacokinetic studies, toxicology tests and pharmacological evaluations under this collaboration. AstraZeneca will be responsible for preclinical and clinical development, and commercialization.
"This partnership leverages the innovation capabilities of CrystalGenomics and AstraZeneca in creating a world-class drug discovery and development network. We believe this collaboration is a validation of CrystalGenomics' ability to discover novel drugs on a global standard," says Dr Joong Myung Cho, President and CEO of CrystalGenomics.