News Feature | April 8, 2014

Teva And CRT Identify New Cancer Drug Candidate

By Estel Grace Masangkay

Teva and the Cancer Research Technology (CRT) announced a successful outcome to the organizations’ existing collaboration through the identification of a new atypical Protein Kinase C (aPKC) inhibitor pre-clinical candidate. The new cancer drug candidate is licensed by Teva.             

Dr. Michael Hayden, Teva’s president of global R&D and CSO, said, “The fruits of this collaboration are significant. These aPKC targets may play a role in a pathway that leads to the formation and progression of cancer. The ability to inhibit this pathway may provide a new approach to the treatment of multiple cancer types in a number of different patient populations.”

The Israel-based company provided resources and expertise during the collaborative research term. The drug compound was discovered after lead optimization of early stage compounds identified within CRT Discovery Laboratories. The aPKC inhibitor pre-clinical candidate blocks the atypical class of PKC proteins that are differentially activated in defined subsets of cancer patients.

The aPKC isoforms PKC iota and PKC zeta are types of enzymes that play a key role in regulating the formation of tumors, tumor invasion, and metastasis. The kinases are also involved in the expansion and growth of cancer stem cells, which contribute to tumor resistance development against a range of standard cancer therapies. Inhibition of aPKC isoenzymes presents an attractive target for anti-tumor treatments research.

Dr. Keith Blundy, Cancer Research Technology’s CEO, said, “This successful outcome from our collaboration represents the pinnacle of a highly productive collaboration to discover and develop first-in-class inhibitors of aPKC. By working with our industry partner, Teva and academic collaborators, we’ve accessed a much wider range of specialist expertise and experience, and demonstrated our ability to execute successfully the development of novel inhibitors.”

The partnership between Teva and CRT was a multi-year and cross discipline collaboration. With the identification of the drug compound, CRT will receive an upfront payment and will gain eligibility to receive future success-based development milestone and royalty payments under the terms of the license.