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Neurocrine and Array BioPharma Announce Drug Discovery Collaboration
SAN DIEGO, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: NBIX) and Array BioPharma Inc. today announced that they have signed an agreement for the design and synthesis of a focused library around small molecules targeted at the super-family of receptors called G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Under the terms of the agreement, Array will combine its expertise in the generation of small molecule libraries with Neurocrine computational methodology to design and synthesize a library targeted at GPCRs. Both companies will contribute unique, proprietary chemical templates to the Collaboration. Based on analyses of screening data against multiple GPCR receptors, the library may have widespread screening utility, leading Array and Neurocrine to offer the library to third parties. Neurocrine has several research programs based on GPCRs, which serve as targets for the identification of novel therapeutics. One of Neurocrine's core technologies, corticotropin releasing factors (CRF) are GPCRs, which have resulted in an antagonist drug candidate (R121919) that is currently being evaluated by corporate partner, Janssen Pharmaceutical, in Phase II clinical trials for anxiety and depression. Array BioPharma has created innovations in high-speed synthesis and parallel purification which allow for the rapid production of highly purified small molecule libraries. "We are delighted to initiate this drug discovery collaboration with Neurocrine. This collaboration validates our investment in the integration of novel building blocks with high speed synthesis and purification technologies," said David Snitman, Ph.D., Vice President of Business Development and Chief Operating Officer at Array. "We look forward to achieving success on behalf of Neurocrine and expanding our list of partners for whom we can provide this very valuable service." "The creation of optimal processes to accelerate drug discovery is a key aspect of our technology platform," said Kevin Koch, Ph.D., President and Chief Science Officer at Array. "The combination of Array's synthesis and design capabilities with Neurocrine's extensive experience in working with families of GPCR's will create unique libraries for identifying high value development candidates."

"This collaboration focuses the combined strengths of Neurocrine and Array's medicinal, computational and combinatorial chemistry groups on more efficiently screening for viable therapeutic compounds. Neurocrine will use these compounds in our receptor assays to identify novel small molecules acting as ligands for GPCRs. These screening 'hits' will then be used to develop drugs that treat diseases where such receptors are implicated," said John Saunders, Ph.D. Vice President of Medicinal Chemistry for Neurocrine Biosciences.

"We are pleased to work with Array BioPharma and believe this collaboration accelerates Neurocrine's ability to rapidly expand our library of compounds as part of our long term strategy to maintain a robust development pipeline," said Gary A. Lyons, President and Chief Executive Officer of Neurocrine Biosciences.

Neurocrine Biosciences is a leading neuroscience company focused on the discovery and development of novel therapeutics for neuropsychiatric, neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases and disorders. The Company's neuroscience, endocrine and immunology disciplines provide a unique biological understanding of the molecular interaction between central nervous, immune and endocrine systems for the development of therapeutic interventions for anxiety, depression, Alzheimer's disease, insomnia, stroke, malignant brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, obesity and diabetes.

Array BioPharma is a privately held discovery research organization (DRO TM) providing research services in all aspects of chemistry, high-throughput screening, structural biology and information management. Array complements the experience of its researchers with proprietary drug discovery tools, including unique sets of building blocks called monomer assays for automated lead explosion, pharmacophore-biased small molecule libraries, high-speed synthesis automation, X-ray crystallography and qualifying human drug metabolism assays.

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David Snitman

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