Almac Discovery publishes USP7 inhibitors from UbiPlexTM Platform

Craigavon, N.I., UK, 4 December 2017Almac Discovery, a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and identifying innovative therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, has today published its findings on the discovery and characterisation of highly potent, selective and reversible inhibitors of ubiquitin-specific protease 7 (USP7) in the journal Nature Chemical Biology. Despite substantial efforts over nearly two decades, the development of validated deubiquitinase (DUB) inhibitors that exhibit drug like properties and a well-defined mechanism has proven particularly challenging—overall, Almac’s findings successfully demonstrate the tractability and druggability of DUBs, and provide important tools for additional target validation studies.

Stephen Barr, President & Managing Director, Almac Discovery commented “We are delighted to see the publication of our novel research in Nature Chemical Biology. This is further evidence of the expertise and understanding the Almac Discovery team possess in relation to deubiquitinase drug discovery.”

These findings, which stem from the implementation of Almac Discovery’s UbiPlexTM drug discovery platform, represent important milestones in terms of feasibility and proof-of-concept studies for USP7 research. It is anticipated that these chemical probes will be of direct relevance and utility to the USP7 research community and more broadly to all those aiming to identify and develop innovative DUB therapeutics.

Tim Harrison, Vice President of Drug Discovery added: “The DUB’s represent an underexplored and exciting target class that has attracted considerable attention recently. The identification of highly potent, selective inhibitors will allow us to further define the therapeutic potential of USP7. We are committed to using the knowledge gained in studies such as these for the identification of small molecules which inhibit therapeutically relevant targets within the DUBome using our UbiPlexTMplatform. We anticipate this will provide the basis for the development of first-in-class therapeutics in cancer, neurodegeneration and other pathological disorders.”

The project was supported by the Almac Group, the European Regional Development Fund and Invest Northern Ireland (Grant RD1010668).


Almac Discovery
 Almac Discovery is a research-driven oncology company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel and innovative approaches to the treatment of cancer. Almac Discovery focuses on the discovery of preclinical stage seeking to license programmes early with a pharmaceutical partner for further development.

About Almac Group
‘Partnering to Advance Human Health’

The Almac Group is an established contract development and manufacturing organisation that provides an extensive range of integrated services to the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors globally. The services range from R&D, biomarker discovery development and commercialisation, API manufacture, formulation development, clinical trial supply, IRT (IVRS/IWRS) through to commercial-scale manufacture.

The international company is a privately owned organisation that has organically grown over almost 50 years and now employs in excess of 5,000 highly skilled personnel. Almac is headquartered in Craigavon, Northern Ireland with operations in the UK, Ireland, across the US (Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California) and in Asia (Singapore and Tokyo).

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