Codex MicroCyp Platform To Produce Drug Metabolites, Novel Lead Compounds

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Codexis introduced the Codex MicroCyp Plate, a research productivity tool which can be used by pharmaceutical companies to more rapidly identify and synthesize drug metabolites and novel drug lead candidates.

The Codex MicroCyp Plate is being introduced this week at Informex 2008 in New Orleans. It is based on a platform technology for preparing and identifying drug metabolites (substances produced during drug metabolism). These metabolites are generated by bacterial cytochrome P450 enzymes licensed by Codexis from the California Institute of Technology (see Codexis Licenses New Drug Metabolite Profiling and Lead Diversification Technology from California Institute of Technology, August 29, 2007).

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The research tool introduced is based on a specific cytochrome (cyp) enzyme, 102A1, which metabolizes fatty acids in the microbe. Today's launch expands the Codexis research product family, adding metabolite screening and synthesis as well as lead diversification to a full suite of tools for improving pharmaceutical process development efficiency.

"This platform can be used by pharmaceutical companies to more efficiently identify and produce safer, more efficacious drugs earlier in the drug development process," said Peter Seufer-Wasserthal, Ph.D., Vice President and General Manager, Codexis Pharma Services. "Conventional methods for metabolite identification and production and lead diversification are difficult and time-consuming. Our customers now have an efficient way to make multiple compounds for testing at a reduced cost. They can also identify toxic metabolites before time and money are spent on problematic drug candidates."

Drug metabolites are produced by the body during the break-down (metabolism) of drugs. Primary metabolites are largely formed in the liver by human P450 enzymes to aid in elimination of a drug from the body. In some cases, metabolites can be toxic, while for other drugs, "active" metabolites have shown improved efficacy and lower toxicity than the administered drug substance. The US Food and Drug Administration now recommends metabolic characterization for all new investigational human therapeutics.

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