Charity will finance development, which is still at the preclinical stage.

Cancer Research UK and Astex Therapeutics have identified a cancer drug compound, AT13148, from their discovery partnership for further development. Cancer Research UK will primarily fund work on this protein kinase B (PKB) inhibitor and will receive a share of any revenues plus a royalty.

Under the terms of this new agreement, Cancer Research UK’s specialized drug development office will carry out further investigations on the agent. Part of the research will be done by The Institute of Cancer Research. If successful, Phase I trials will be held at the Royal Marsden Hospital.

The molecule was originally discovered by scientists on the PKB drug discovery program, which ran from 2003 through to 2006. It was a collaboration between Astex Therapeutics, The Institute of Cancer Research, and Cancer Research Technology—the charity’s development and commercialization arm. 

 “Given the productivity of our drug discovery approach, the challenge for Astex has been to find innovative ways to continue to fund the development of all of our compounds, and the CDP program clearly addresses that constraint,” notes Harren Jhoti, Astex Therapeutics’ CEO.

ATI3148 marks the second compound to enter the charity’s Clinical Development Partnerships (CDP) program. The first, AZD0424, which is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor,  came through an agreement with AstraZeneca in May 2008.

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