Rights cover portfolio of granted and pending patents.

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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