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Dec 20, 2010

Abbott and EpiTherapeutics Ally to Develop Epigenetic Cancer Drugs

  • Abbott is teaming up with Danish firm EpiTherapeutics to develop small molecule inhibitors targeting epigenetic cancer targets. The three-year research collaboration will be carried out at both firms and exploit EpiTherapeutics’ expertise in the epigenetics field.

    EpiTherapeutics is leveraging epigenetics expertise developed by researchers at the Biotech Research & Innovation Centre (BRIC) at University of Copenhagen. The firm is building its IP platform in the field of histone demethylases and methyltransferases and is working to expand its in-house pipeline of small molecule inhibitors of key enzymes.

    EpiTherapeutics is also looking to leverage its capabilities through collaborations with the industry. In mid-December the firm announced that Merck Serono Ventures (MSV) had joined the firm’s existing seed investor syndicate. The additional investment has taken total funding in EpiTherapeutics to DKK51.5 million ($9.1 million) since it was founded in October 2008. Existing investors include Lundbeckfond Ventures, Novo Seeds, SEED Capital and OSI Pharmaceuticals.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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