Press release

University of Dundee Drug Discovery Unit licenses USP15 assets to Corbin Therapeutics

Published on 5 June 2019

The University of Dundee Drug Discovery Unit is delighted to announce it has licensed assets to Corbin Therapeutics to develop possible new treatments for neuroinflammation-based disorders, including multiple sclerosis (MS).

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MS is a disease of the central nervous system in which inflammation causes damage to nerve cells and the myelin sheath which surrounds them. The condition affects 2.2 million people globally, including more than 100,000 people in the UK, and is more prevalent in women than men. Diagnosis often occurs at around 30 years of age with a variety of symptoms including loss of balance and dizziness, fatigue, pain, tremors, vision problems, speech problems, and bladder problems.

A ubiquitin-specific protease, USP15, has been shown to be key in the neuroinflammation pathogenesis. Corbin Therapeutics, a Montreal-based biotech company, was established to exploit this finding and uses a proprietary drug discovery platform to identify and validate novel small molecule inhibitors of USP15.

This License Agreement builds upon an existing partnership between Corbin Therapeutics and the Drug Discovery Unit in Dundee. With support from the Medical Research Council, this partnership has delivered multiple series of drug-like compounds suitable for further development by Corbin.

Dr Julie Brady, Business Development Manager for the Drug Discovery Unit, stated, “We are committed to the translation of world-class biology into novel drug targets and candidate drugs and we work with partners globally to achieve this. The relationship with Corbin has created a transatlantic, multidisciplinary team working towards the discovery of new medicines for diseases associated with neuroinflammation.”

Sean MacDonald, CEO Corbin Therapeutics, said, “The team in Dundee have helped us move forward with a very promising discovery program targeting USP15. Corbin is now focused on developing novel drugs that have the potential to treat a number of diseases of unmet medical need and to deliver value for our shareholders.”

Financial details have not been disclosed.


Press Office, University of Dundee