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Development underway for promising new cancer drugs

CancerCell225x135A license agreement between King’s College London, Cancer Research Technology (CRT) and Pangaea Biotech has been signed, paving the way for further development of promising new drugs to treat cancer patients.

Professor Gareth Jones from the Randall Division of Cell & Molecular Biophysics and Dr Claire Wells from the Division of Cancer Studies, have been collaborating with CRT’s Discovery Laboratories to develop a PAK-targeting drug.

P21 activated (PAK) kinases are involved in cell growth/cell survival and overexpressed in many cancers including ovarian, breast, pancreatic, melanoma and lung. It is hoped that PAK inhibitors will block the activity of overexpressed PAK protein – killing cancer cells. Although researchers have linked PAK with tumour development, there are currently no approved compounds available on the market.

Under the terms of the agreement, Pangaea Biotech will be responsible for research and development of the PAK inhibitors, taking the existing compounds through clinical development. Javier Rivela, CEO of Pangaea Biotech, said: “We are excited about this partnership as it marks the beginning of what we expect to be a fruitful long-term collaboration”.

Professor Jones’ and Dr Wells’ laboratories have a long history of collaborative work with the PAK family of proteins and are delighted that their partnership with CRT has now progressed to the clinical development phase.