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Nov 28, 2012

Roche, Broad Institute Seek New Uses for Old Drugs

  • Roche will make available to the Broad Institute a collection of 300 compounds with various indications in hopes of identifying alternative uses for the drugs using the research institute’s screening technologies.

    The multi-year collaboration aims to help Roche generate value by reviving the prospects for success of compounds that failed to meet critical Phase II milestones or whose development was halted for strategic reasons.

    Financial terms were not disclosed for the agreement, which will link the drug candidates comprising the Roche Repurposing Compound Collection (RRCC) to new patient populations through common biochemical pathways, with the goal of yielding new drug discovery targets.

    “In the course of this project, we will be using multiple, novel methods developed at the Broad Institute to identify these new therapeutic indications. By partnering with Roche, we hope to bring the benefits of these discoveries to patients,” Brian Hubbard, director of the Broad Institute’s Therapeutics Discovery and Development Platform, said in a statement.

    The agreement is the third announced between Broad and a major pharma company this year. In September, the institute agreed to carry out screening and hit-to-lead chemistry through its chemical biology platform to identify targets for new AstraZeneca drugs from Broad’s 100,000-molecule library of Diversity-Oriented Synthesis (DOS) compounds, with AZ developing and commercializing potential compounds deemed high-quality leads.

    In March, Broad Institute and Novartis made public results from the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia, a compilation of detailed cancer genome data and predictors of drug response authored by scientists at the Broad Institute, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Foundation, and the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. In a paper published in Nature, researchers revealed three novel candidate biomarkers based on reported genomic predictors of drug sensitivity.

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