Cancer Drug Discovery
Developing novel targeted therapies for the treatment of cancer.
We host one of four major Cancer Research UK small molecule drug discovery programmes in the UK. We specialise in applying structure-based methods to the identification of new cancer treatments.
We're working to translate discoveries from basic and clinical research into new drugs against target proteins where there is little or no precedent.
We use state-of-the-art structural and biophysical methods. We combine these with expert medicinal chemistry to identify novel therapies.
We also carry out extensive studies to determine how to use each medicine optimally. We verify which patients are suitable for a particular treatment.
Areas of expertise
Our work within this research theme includes:
We’ve identified seven tool targeted compounds. These are available for use by the scientific community. These include the widely used NU7026 and NU7441 DNA-Dependent Protein Kinase (DNA-PK) inhibitors, and the first selective inhibitor of ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase.
To date, we've identified the following two compounds in clinical evaluation:
This is a first-in-class orally administered poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor. It was discovered and developed in partnership with Agouron-Pfizer. It's now owned by Clovis Oncology.
Rucaparib was granted Breakthrough Therapy designation by the U.S. FDA for a subset of ovarian cancer patients in April 2015.
The compound has recently completed Phase III clinical evaluation and been granted priority review status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
We contributed to hit identification, hit-to-lead chemistry and lead optimisation bioscience. We led on early phase clinical trials.
This is a highly potent pan-Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor (FGFR) inhibitor. It was discovered in partnership with Astex Pharmaceuticals and Janssen Pharmaceutica. It was developed by Janssen Pharmaceutica.
We identified the target and contributed to lead optimisation biology. The compound has shown single agent activity in a range of tumours with an FGFR-aberration (amplification/mutation/translocation). It is currently in Phase II clinical trials.