GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is collaborating with Yale University to design a new class of medicines that degrade disease-causing proteins.
The venture will build on Yale's research on proteolysis-targeting chimeric molecules (PROTACs), which guide disease-causing proteins to a cell's 'garbage disposal' where they can be destroyed.
Under the agreement, the team will work to show that PROTACs can be turned into future medicines.
GSK will then have the right to use this technology for multiple disease-causing proteins across all therapy areas. For each protein-degrading drug that is discovered and developed, Yale will be eligible for milestone and royalty payments.
Kris Famm, head of GSK's protein degradation effort, said: "This partnership is exploring a new way for promising, but unproven therapeutic approaches to jump from the academic lab more quickly into the early-stage pharmaceutical pipeline."
Famm will lead the programme along with Craig Crews, a professor of chemistry and pharmacology at Yale.
"The ground-breaking work Craig and his team have done may allow us to tackle a whole host of disease-causing proteins that were previously out of reach for medicines and it is exciting to work together to try to realise that promise," added Famm.
The collaboration has been endorsed by GSK's discovery investment board and the panel of internal and external experts who make funding decisions on GSK's small biotech-like discovery performance units.
Image: GSK will have the right to use PROTACs for multiple disease-causing proteins. Photo courtesy of: GSK