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University of Leicester scientist wins Domainex’s STAR Award

A University of Leicester scientist and lecturer has won the prestigious STAR award that supports the search for treatment for blood cell cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphomas.
Dr Aude Echalier, the scientist and lecturer of Structural Biology of Cancer Related Targets was announced the beneficiary of the STAR Award, appointed and supported by Domainex Ltd.


The award will enable Dr Echalier access to the outstanding drug capabilities supported by Domainex, which aims to target deubiquitnase enzymes (DUBs) leading towards a new treatment for diffuse large B-Cell lymphoma (DLBCL).

Photo Credit: University of Leicester
Photo Credit: University of Leicester

Dr Echalier was overjoyed with winning the award and said: “I am delighted to have been successful in securing the prestigious Discovery STAR award from Domainex.


“Their LeadBuilder platform is a proven approach to rapidly identifying virtual hit compounds with significantly enhanced hit rates in subsequent bioassays.


“I look forward to working with the team at Domainex to identify drug-like small molecule inhibitors of our chosen deubiquitinase in the near future and to progressing these into a programme of drug discovery.”


Trevor Perrior, Director of Research at Domainex praises Dr Echalier and said: “Domainex received a number of strong applications for this year’s Discovery STAR Award scheme, but Dr Echalier’s project really stood out as she had in place a great drug target and all the elements needed to start a discovery project.


“We very much welcome the opportunity to help Dr Echalier identify inhibitors of this enzyme, and hope that by generating drug-like chemical starting points she will be able to access further funding that will support the development of a new treatment for this disease.”


The University of Leicester is home to the Leicester Drug Discovery and Diagnostics Centre, a centre that is expanding its discovery and partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies, small biotech’s and contract research organisations.


Lymphoma is the most common type of blood cancer, its two main types being Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) a disease that occurs when lymphocytes cells (a type of white blood cell) of the immune system multiply and grow uncontrollably. Echalier will also have guidance from Domainex to access its unique LeadBuilder virtual hit screening.
Who are Domainex and what do they do?
Based in Cambridge Domainex Ltd are a small-molecule drug discovery company that implement integrated drug discovery services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and academic partners globally.

The services Domainex offer cover a broad area of the drug discovery value chain that includes disease target validation, pre-clinical candidate nomination, recombinant protein expression and use of its proprietary technology platform, Combinatorial Domain Hunting to identify soluble protein fragments for structural biology and assay development.
In 2013Domainex launched its Discovery Star Award that supports awarded scientists in the early stages of drug discovery. The scheme aims to provide discovery advice and selected services free of charge.
By Jessica Challoner-Sterland 

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