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Mar 19, 2013

Blueprint Medicines Collaboration Zeroes In on Cancer Targets

  • Blueprint Medicines agreed to collaborate with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center to focus on a large collection of Blueprint’s next-generation kinase inhibitor compounds. The team will use the Sanger Institute and Mass. General’s human cancer cell line panel to help enable discoveries of novel cancer targets and new cancer dependencies.

    “Blueprint Medicines has built a novel kinase library from scratch that will allow us to interrogate the human kinome. Sanger Institute researchers will leverage our expertise in understanding the dependencies of the cancer cell lines utilizing Blueprint’s compounds as unique tools to further interrogate our extensive cell panel,” explained Ultan McDermott, Ph.D., principal investigator of this collaboration at Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. “This is the first time that such a broad screen across the kinome is possible with such selective compounds.”

    In collaboration with the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, the Sanger Institute has built a panel of over 1,200 cancer cell lines used to screen compounds and to evaluate their activity toward particular cancer targets.

    “Blueprint Medicines is building a pipeline of next-generation kinase inhibitors focused on specific genetic abnormalities,” said Chris Varma, Ph.D., president and CEO. “Our discovery process begins with a genomic blueprint of specific patient populations and the utilization of our proprietary genomics platform, which rapidly identifies novel targets and potential combination partners. We have now built a pioneering chemical library of novel compounds that covers the majority of the kinome—some of which to be used in this collaboration—with selectivity that far surpasses prior generations of kinase inhibitors. We are excited to form a collaboration with the Sanger Institute to identify novel cancer targets and better understand cancer dependencies.”

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