Orbit Discovery signs agreement with China based WuXi AppTec on peptide discovery tech


Orbit Discovery, a ground-breaking peptide discovery company has partnered with WuXi AppTec, the China-based provider of R&D and manufacturing services that enable the global pharmaceutical and healthcare industry.

Peptides are short chains of amino acids linked by peptide bonds. Peptides may be easier for the body to absorb than proteins because they are smaller and more broken down than proteins. They can more easily penetrate the skin and intestines, which helps them to enter the bloodstream more quickly.

Orbit will combine its peptide discovery platform and experience with WuXi AppTec’s downstream capabilities. Specifically, Orbit gains access to WuXi AppTec’s expertise in peptide optimisation, peptide production and manufacturing to help its Partners obtain clinically relevant data packs and materials in a rapid timeframe. Orbit will also utilise other capabilities within WuXi AppTec, in particular their expertise in cell line and assay development and biophysical analysis.

Incorporating these capabilities into the Orbit platform will enable functional assays to be developed against a wider range of targets, facilitating direct functional screens using novel bead-based technologies and microfluidics.

The Company’s first strategic technology link since its formation in 2016, the news follows Orbit’s successful funding round last year, raising $7.6million to accelerate its growth in peptide discovery services, aimed at addressing challenging targets that have been difficult to drug.

This partnership enables Orbit to integrate WuXi AppTec’s expertise in peptide production, optimization and manufacturing into its peptide discovery platform, in addition to WuXi AppTec’s capabilities in cell line and assay development and biophysical analysis. This will enable Orbit to offer functional assays against a wider range of targets, in a rapid timeframe.

Dr Neil Butt, Chief Executive Officer of Orbit Discovery, said: “We aim to move Orbit to the forefront of peptide discovery, and relationships such as this help us leverage expertise that would take far longer to grow organically. We see the partnership with WuXi AppTec as being a key relationship and a great asset to our current Partners, and Partners of the future.” He added: “We see particular value in the development and manufacturing platform of WuXi AppTec, that will enable us to generate peptides at small or large scale that incorporate chemical modifications to facilitate peptide optimisations and the journey towards a therapeutic candidate.”

Dr Dave Madge, VP Discovery Services at WuXi AppTec, added:“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to support Orbit Discovery and its research partners.

“We see substantial synergies between the Orbit technology for peptide discovery and our platform for optimisation, characterisation and manufacture of novel peptide therapeutics.”