Abide Therapeutics has partnered with the University of Oxford and the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust to examine the therapeutic potential of serine hydrolases, the enzyme classes with validated but underexplored class of drug targets.

Serine hydrolases plays an important role in human physiological processes, through regulating CNS signalling, digestion, metabolism, inflammation, blood clotting, and life cycle of viruses and pathogens.

Abide and Oxford will explore the role of monoacylglycerol lipase (MGLL) inhibitors in altering endocannabinoid tone in the human brain, as part of the three-year agreement.

Abide Therapeutics president Alan Ezekowitz said: "This collaborative agreement is a true delight as it extends the founding vision of Abide, which is to partner with enlightened academic investigators that have unique insights into how best to test novel therapies at the earliest stages of clinical development.

"Abide will extend its support for at least three Phase Ib trials, as well as for directed new target discovery efforts, in a three-year term."

"Furthermore, the institutional component of the agreement is only possible because of the great execution of Sir John Bell’s vision establishing Oxford as one the foremost academic centres in the world for translational science."

Under the directorship of professor Irene Tracey with Abide’s chemoproteomics platform, the partnership will combine the domain experience and capabilities at Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB).

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The collaboration intends to explore MGLL in multiple clinical indications to determine proof of biology in man, and aims to discover serine hydrolase targets using samples from patients with inflammatory conditions. This is conducted in collaboration with professors Alison Simmons and Peter Taylor.

Abide will extend its support for at least three Phase Ib trials, as well as for directed new target discovery efforts, in a three-year term.

The partnership has been supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).

NIHR Oxford BRC director Keith Channon said: "This exciting collaboration with Abide Therapeutics builds on the considerable investment by the Oxford BRC in experimental medicine and supporting the development of new drugs, for the benefit of patients."