News | July 8, 2019

Eisai Enters Into Collaboration Research Agreement With University Of Dundee On Targeted Protein Degradation Toward Cancer Drug Discovery

Eisai Co.,Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, CEO: Haruo Naito, “Eisai”) announced recently that it has entered into a collaboration research agreement with the University of Dundee in Scotland, UK, regarding Proteolysis Targeting Chimeras (PROTACs)1 toward drug discovery in oncology area.

PROTACs consist of two covalently linked protein-binding molecules: one capable of engaging an ubiquitin ligase (E3 ligase) and another that binds to a target protein meant for degradation. PROTACs work by recruiting an E3 ligase to tag the target protein for ubiquitination for degradation through the intracellular degradation system. It is hoped that research into PROTACs will lead to new drug discoveries for proteins present in cancer, which are difficult to treat with conventional small molecule inhibitors.

In this collaboration research, Professor Alessio Ciulli, one of the global pioneers in the field of PROTACs research, at the School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee is responsible for directing the research. The collaboration combines the world-leading expertise and technology of the Professor Alessio Ciulli laboratory in PROTACs research with Eisai’s discovery researches and clinical development experiences in oncology area as well as findings of target protein degradation based on our basic researches to aim to create innovative new drugs.

Under this agreement, Eisai has the option rights to develop and commercialize the compounds resulted from this collaboration research. If Eisai exercises the options, an upfront, milestone payments, and royalties on sales will be paid.

Eisai positions oncology area as a key therapeutic area and is aiming to discover revolutionary new medicines with the potential to cure cancer. The company will continue to create innovative drugs based on the cutting-edge cancer research and will seek to contribute further to addressing the diverse needs of, and increasing the benefits provided to, patients with cancer, their families, and healthcare providers.

Gadd M.S. et al. “Structural basis of PROTAC cooperative recognition for selective protein degradation” Nat. Chem. Biol. 13, 514-521 (2017).

SOURCE: Eisai Co.,Ltd.