The university will work with Ipsen on the inhibitors, which have been supported by Domainex
Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast including Professors Daniel Longley and Tim Harrison have entered into a collaboration and licensing agreement with Ipsen. The agreement provides an exclusive licence to research, develop, manufacture and commercialise FLIP inhibitors. Domainex, a provider of integrated drug discovery services, has supported the FLIP inhibitor programme from its inception.
FLIP is a major apoptosis-regulatory protein that is frequently overexpressed in haematological and solid tumours (including colorectal, lung and pancreatic cancer). It has been implicated in the regulation of cell death, is a key oncology target and has been shown to be upregulated with tumour progression in a variety of cancers.
At the start of the project, Domainex conducted a virtual screen to generate the initial hit matter. It then worked with the Queen’s team to provide integrated medicinal chemistry services to develop the initial hits.
Dr Ray Boffey, Executive Director of Medicines Research at Domainex, commented: “The Domainex drug discovery team is proud to have delivered a series of FLIP inhibitors for the Queen’s team, and we hope that these lead to first-in-class drugs that will improve the lives of patients with cancer.”
Tom Mander, CEO of Domainex, added: “We are very pleased that our successful collaboration with Queen’s and the Wellcome Trust has generated a set of FLIP inhibitors to warrant further investigation by Ipsen. It is further testament of the power of our integrated drug discovery engine to deliver potential breakthrough new medicines to treat debilitating diseases and demonstrates the value that our team brings to our partners.”
Professor Daniel Longley, Deputy Director of the Patrick G. Johnston Centre for Cancer Research at Queen’s, added: “It has been an absolute pleasure working with Dr Boffey and the Domainex team on this project. Without their first class medicinal chemistry expertise and the use of their Leadbuilder virtual screening platform at the outset of the programme, we would not have been able to secure the support of The Wellcome Trust and advance the programme to the stage it has now reached.”