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April 12, 2015

Medivir and Cancer Research UK partner to develop new cancer drugs

Medivir has partnered with Cancer Research UK to develop a new class of drugs, which can be used to treat a wide range of cancers, including the pancreatic type.

Adeno

Medivir has partnered with Cancer Research UK to develop a new class of drugs, which can be used to treat a wide range of cancers, including the pancreatic type.

Under the deal, Cancer Research UK’s commercialisation and development arm Cancer Research Technology (CRT) and Medivir will carry out a two-year research programme to optimise and develop small molecules targeting the cell surface protein ADAM8 that is linked to tumour survival, cell invasion and metastasis.

Medivir CEO Niklas Prager said: "This collaboration is a demonstration of our commitment to advance oncology drug discovery at Medivir and we are pleased to partner with such a renowned institution such as Cancer Research UK, and with professor Bartsch, a leading researcher in the field."

Under the agreement, Medivir is eligible to receive an exclusive and global licence to research, develop, manufacture and commercialise ADAM8 inhibitor drugs resulting from development.

"The synergy of expertise between Medivir and our Laboratory forms an excellent platform for successful exploration of this first-in-class approach to targeted therapy against ADAM8."

The deal will allow CRT to receive an upfront payment and future success milestones and royalties on sales that are shared with the academic collaborators.

Professor Jörg Bartsch, along with Medivir, will serve as the head of TransMIT-Project division for research in neuro-oncology at TransMIT, located at Marburg University in Germany.

Bartsch previously worked at King’s College London where the initial patent application was filed by King’s College IP and licencing team, while further proof-of-concept studies have been funded by Cancer Research UK at King’s College.

Bartsch said: "The synergy of expertise between Medivir and our Laboratory forms an excellent platform for successful exploration of this first-in-class approach to targeted therapy against ADAM8."

According to Medivir, blocking ADAM8 in mice with pancreatic cancer prevented the spread of the disease, shrank tumours and significantly extended lifespans.


Image: Micrograph of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (the most common type of pancreatic cancer). Photo: courtesy of KGH.

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