Cyclica Inc. (www.cyclicarx.com), a Toronto-based life sciences technology company, is pleased to announce it is now a resident company at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS @ Toronto, located in the MaRS Centre in Toronto, Canada.

JLABS @ Toronto is a 40,000 square-foot life science innovation center. The labs provide a flexible environment for start-up companies pursuing new technologies and research platforms to advance medical care. Through a “no strings attached” model, Johnson & Johnson Innovation does not take an equity stake in the companies occupying JLABS and the companies are free to develop products – either on their own, or by initiating a separate external partnership with Johnson & Johnson Innovation or any other company.

Cyclica’s cloud-based Software-as-a-Service platform, Ligand Express™, is available to scientists in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmeceutical industries. Ligand Express™ combines an innovative structure-based proteome-wide screening technology with artificial intelligence to uncover and explain the effects of small-molecule therapeutics. The platform screens candidate drugs against all structurally-characterized proteins to identify molecular interactions that provide information about “on-” and “off-target” binding events. Accordingly, Cyclica is able to provide critical insights into the mechanism-of-action of small-molecule drugs, by determining which proteins are likely to be modulated by the drug. This unique approach has been applied towards the identification of drug targets, prioritization of lead candidates, understanding side effects, and the determination of new uses for existing drugs. This capability can augment drug discovery and development workflows, expand development pipelines, and facilitate the translation of assets from bench to bedside.

Naheed Kurji, President and CEO of Cyclica remarks, “residency at JLABS @ Toronto will provide Cyclica with world-class mentorship, extensive resources via the international Johnson & Johnson Innovation network, as well as access to JLABS’ large portfolio of early-stage pharmaceutical companies. Becoming a part of Johnson & Johnson Innovation and the JLABS @ Toronto ecosystem is critical to achieving our vision of becoming an integral utility platform in the pharmaceutical R&D value chain. Through Ligand Express™, and our continued focus on innovation, we believe that we can make lives easier for scientists so that they in turn can make lives better for patients by delivering safer and more effective medicines sooner than ever before.”