Cancer Research Technology (CRT), the technology development arm of Cancer Research, and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries have entered into a collaboration to research and develop novel cancer drugs that target the DNA damage and repair response (DDR) processes in cancer cells.
DDR creates an in-built antidote to the toxic effects of anticancer agents, thereby, protecting cancer cells from the damaging effects of chemotherapy. Cancer cells that are able to repair the DNA damage and survive chemotherapy will replicate and lead to the natural selection of mutated cancer cells with enhanced repair capability, causing recurrence of the disease and resistance to treatment.
The multiyear alliance will focus on mechanisms and molecular targets related to the emergence of treatment-resistant cancer cells and offers the potential to improve therapeutic outcomes of Teva’s current portfolio of oncology therapeutics. CRT and Teva will jointly undertake chemical lead-generation activities. Under the terms of the agreement, CRT will receive research funding and be eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties on projects advancing through Teva’s drug pipeline. CRT will select molecular targets from Cancer Research UK’s portfolio of biological research in DDR, which will then be validated to prove their clinical utility before progressing to the early stages of drug discovery in CRT’s Discovery Laboratories.
“This research collaboration will build on our understanding of how cells repair DNA damage, help us identify possible points of therapeutic intervention, and lead us onto a pathway toward improve clinical outcomes for cancer patients,” said Dr. Michael Hayden, chief scientific officer and president of Teva Global R&D, in a press statement.