The Cancer Research Technology Pioneer Fund (CPF), Battle Against Cancer Investment Fund (BACIT) and drug discovery company Sareum, have entered into an agreement to co-fund the further development of a class of cancer drugs called CHK1 inhibitors.
The candidate inhibitor originates from research in the Cancer Research U.K. cancer therapeutics unit at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London, by scientists funded by Cancer Research U.K. working alongside Sareum’s researchers, and in collaboration with Cancer Research Technology (CRT).
Further work will be carried out at the ICR, and it is expected that the drug candidate will be taken into clinical development at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.
The rights to the preclinical program have been licensed into CPF from CRT and the ICR. CPF obtains worldwide rights to the preclinical CHK1 inhibitor program and is responsible for future development and commercialization funded by CPF, BACIT and Sareum. CRT and the originating research partners, Sareum and the ICR, are entitled to an up-front fee plus success milestone and royalty payments. Financial terms of the license were not disclosed.
CHK1 inhibitors control a cancer cell’s response to DNA damage. Blocking CHK1 could boost the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs by blocking repair of the DNA damage caused by these drugs, but without harming healthy cells.
The developers of the program believe the candidate CHK1 inhibitor to be developed could potentially treat a range of cancers including pancreatic, bowel and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in combination with DNA-damaging chemotherapy drugs and radiotherapy. The inhibitor could also potentially treat certain neuroblastoma and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) types when dosed alone.