Cancer Research UK, Cancer Research Technology (CRT), the charity’s commercial arm, and HitGen Ltd, a privately held biotech company focused on early drug discovery, announced today that they have entered into a licence agreement to develop a novel class of drugs against lung cancer.
The work will be carried out by scientists at Cancer Research UK’s Drug Discovery Unit* at The University of Manchester, after the new family of compounds was identified using HitGen’s leading technology platform. This involved screening vast DNA encoded libraries, containing many hundreds of millions of small molecules with drug-like properties synthesized on chemically diverse scaffolds. A number of new small molecule leads for this important therapeutic target in lung cancer nominated by Cancer Research UK were revealed.
This is the first license taken through the ongoing collaboration between CRT, Cancer Research UK’s Manchester Institute Drug Discovery Group and HitGen, who are eligible for milestone payments as the project progresses.
Dr Jin Li, CEO of HitGen, said: “We’re delighted to announce this significant project milestone. We look forward to seeing the progress made by the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute.”
Dr Donald Ogilvie, head of drug discovery at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute at The University of Manchester, said: “We’re very pleased to work with HitGen to find promising leads against these more difficult targets that may otherwise not be developed.
“As part of the Cancer Research UK Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence, we’re determined to get new lung cancer treatments to patients quicker. Identifying this promising candidate drug offers the potential to help boost survival from this devastating disease.”
* The Drug Discovery Unit builds upon fundamental biology discoveries made within the Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC). The University of Manchester, including the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, joined forces with Cancer Research UK and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust to form the MCRC, allowing doctors and scientists to work closely together to turn scientific advances into patient benefits sooner. See: http://www.mcrc.manchester.ac.uk/Our-Research/Research-Groups/Drug-Disco…