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Apr 24, 2007

Astex Grants Cytochrome P450 License to GSK

  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) obtained nonexclusive, worldwide rights to Astex Therapeutics’ cytochrome P450 intellectual property.

    GSK will pay an upfront fee in return for a license under Astex' portfolio of granted and pending cytochrome P450 patents.

    "This agreement is another example of Astex' commitment to making its human cytochrome P450 technology available to other companies who could benefit or are already benefiting from its application in the discovery and development of novel drugs with reduced metabolic liabilities,” remarks Leon Bushara, CEO of Astex.

    Cytochromes P450 are the most significant group of drug-metabolizing enzymes in humans, explains Astex. The action of these enzymes can cause adverse drug reactions and failures of novel drugs during development.

    Astex reports that it was the first group to determine the 3-D crystal structure of a human cytochrome P450 enzyme and has a number of granted patents in the U.K., Europe, and in the U.S. Knowing this structure and how drugs bind to these enzymes allows for the design of candidates with improved drug metabolism properties thereby reducing attrition rates in drug development and resulting in safer and more effective new medicines, according to Astex.

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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.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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