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Mercachem and UbiQ join forces to tackle SUMOylation


Alfred Nijkerk

Mercachem and UbiQ join forces to tackle SUMOylation. (press release download)

Nijmegen and Amsterdam, The Netherlands, February 20th, 2017:
Mercachem, a privately owned leading European contract research organization offering innovative medicinal chemistry solutions and UbiQ, a biotech company focused on the development and commercialization of research tools and small molecule drugs targeting the ubiquitin system, have established a new company called SumiQ Therapeutics to develop a targeted therapy for Myc-driven cancers, an unrivaled challenge in modern oncology research.

Functional genomics screens have revealed that the activation of oncogenes Myc, NOTCH1 or mutant KRAS generates a cancer-specific dependency on SUMOylation. SumiQ aims to exploit this cancer vulnerability by targeting protein SUMOylation.

“We are excited that we can contribute with our strong medicinal chemistry expertise to the success of SumiQ, and to collaborate with a very knowledgeable team in protein SUMOylation, jointly aiming at pushing the frontiers in cancer research,” commented Frank Leemhuis, Managing Director of Mercachem. He further added: “We will leverage our in-house expertise applying our knowledge in medicinal chemistry to develop novel compounds with favorable safety and efficacy profiles, qualifying as first-in-class drug candidates.

“This partnership with Mercachem allows us to demonstrate the application of our Triple E technology platform in developing mechanism-based covalent SUMOylation inhibitors” commented Alfred Nijkerk, CEO of UbiQ. Acting also as CEO of SumiQ, Alfred added: “I am delighted that we were able to secure funding for the next three years to build an experienced hands-on team contributed by both founding companies.”