Cancer Research UK, Cancer Research Technology (CRT) and biotech company HitGen have signed a licence agreement to develop new drugs against lung cancer.

As part of the agreement, a new family of compounds will be identified using HitGen’s technology platform.

The process involved screening vast DNA encoded libraries, containing several small molecules with drug-like properties synthesised on chemically diverse scaffolds.

Various new small molecule leads for this therapeutic target in lung cancer nominated by Cancer Research UK were revealed.

HitGen CEO Dr Jin Li 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.”

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"We’re very pleased to work with HitGen to find promising leads against these more difficult targets that may otherwise not be developed."

This is claimed to be the first licence taken through the ongoing partnership between CRT, Manchester Institute Drug Discovery Group and HitGen.

University of Manchester Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute drug discovery head Dr Donald Ogilvie 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 development work under the agreement will be performed by scientists at Cancer Research UK’s Drug Discovery Unit at the University of Manchester.

Image: Lung CA seen on CXR. Photo: courtesy of James Heilman, MD.