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Nov 19, 2012
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Confluence: KINecting discovery

Confluence uses KINect to generate inhibitors of cysteine-containing kinases

Confluence Life Sciences Inc. is building a library of chemical probes that interact with cysteine-containing active sites of certain kinases, which could allow for quicker and more efficient discovery of inhibitors of difficult targets.

A lead molecule against MAP kinase kinase kinase 7 (MAP3K7; TAK1) is expected to begin Phase I testing in late 2014.

When Pfizer Inc. began closing its St. Louis research operations after merging with Wyeth in 2009, several of the 600 scientists who were to be let go teamed up to start their own company.

They took with them some research equipment that had been put up for sale and established Confluence inside BioGenerator, a not-for-profit research incubator in downtown St. Louis.

"We were offered jobs on the coasts but wanted to stay in the Midwest and now had a ready-made talent pool of experienced scientists," said CEO Walter Smith. "We set out to try some new ideas about approaching kinases, which was an area we had...

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