Cancer destroying medicine the new focus of university partnership

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A UNIVERSITY partnership will see developments being made in medicine that can destroy cancer causing proteins.

The University of Dundee will collaborate with Boehringer Ingelheim to create new medicines that will destroy what was previously known as “undruggable”.

The two companies have made a three-year deal and will them invest further in a growing team effort with an option to extend the relationship when their contract is up.

molecular cells - scottish news
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash. PROTACs represent a new class of drug candidates with the potential to tackle disease-driving targets where traditional medicinal chemistry approaches have failed.

Boehringer Ingelheim is a company that is well known for their pharmaceutical expertise and commitment to bringing innovative medicines to patients with cancer.

Dr Clive R. Wood, Corporate Senior Vice President and Global Head, Discovery Research at Boehringer Ingelheim, said: “We are now building on this strong foundation and expanding our partnership. “This is an exceptional joint team and it is positioned to discover and advance medicines that strike at the root cause of cancer.”

The Dundee team working on PROTAC cancer drug discovery will more than double and create 18 new jobs and will be based in the Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation (CeTPD).

Alessio Ciulli - scottish news
Photo by CeTPD. Alessio Ciulli claims they are redefining how academia and industry combine their respective strength to accelerate a pipeline of molecules with the potential to break new ground for medicines.

The collaboration’s approach has already yielded the first PROTAC which shreds SMARCA2, a protein that drives the tumors of more than 20,000 new patients each year and previous drug discovery approaches have failed

Alessio Ciulli, Professor of Chemical Structural Biology and Director of CeTPD said: “I am delighted that Boehringer Ingelheim have decided to expand the size and scope of our collaboration.

“This marks a key milestone and it is a testament to the tremendous progress and success made by the alliance, and particular credit must go to Dr William Farnaby, who heads up the Dundee team.”