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Almac Discovery and Debiopharm International SA Announce a Licensing Agreement for the Development of a Novel Wee-1 Inhibitor

21 Jun 17

Almac Discovery, a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and identifying innovative therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, and Debiopharm International SA, a Switzerland based speciality pharma company, today announced a collaboration to pursue the development of Almac Discovery’s Wee-1 kinase inhibitor programme.


Under the terms of the license agreement, Almac Discovery has granted exclusive global rights to its Wee-1 patent families and related subject matter expertise to Debiopharm International SA. Almac Discovery is eligible to receive an upfront payment with further development and commercial milestone payments in addition to receiving royalties from Debiopharm.


The area of DNA damage response and cell cycle regulation has seen notable activity from the pharmaceutical industry recently, including some high profile drug approvals for cell cycle kinase inhibitors. Many cancer treatments such as radiation, antimetabolites, alkylating agents, DNA topoisomerase inhibitors and platinum compounds damage DNA in cells. The cellular response is to arrest the cell cycle temporarily to allow for DNA repair, hence reducing the efficacy of chemotherapy.  


The Wee-1 kinase is a key regulator of a number of cell cycle checkpoints and inhibition of Wee1 can force arrested cells through the cell cycle leading to cell death. The Almac Discovery Wee-1 inhibitors exhibit good drug-like properties, high potency, excellent selectivity and demonstrate potent anti-proliferative activity in vitro and in vivo, both as single agents and in combination with genotoxics, in several cancer models.

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