Eisai Obtains Novel Anti-Cancer Molecules via PRISM BioLab Contract
In order to broaden its pursuit of developing new cancer treatments, Japanese pharma Eisai has signed a new contract with drug discovery company, PRISM BioLab. With this agreement, Eisai would have access to PRISM’s drug development platform that identifies small molecules capable of modulating protein-protein-interactions (PPI).
Long time collaborators, Eisai and PRISM BioLab have inked yet another contract to develop novel anti-cancer molecules. Earlier in 2018, both parties partnered to develop compounds for neurological disorders. With its platform technology and extensive chemical library, PRISM has screened approximately 200 helix-mimetic low-molecular compounds and has identified a group of molecules called “hit compounds” that are capable of inhibiting protein-protein interactions. The company is now entering a new contract where it licenses exclusive authority of the research, merchandise and clinical application to Eisai.
PRISM BioLab specializes in the technology of producing small molecules that mimic the crucial secondary structures of the α-helix /β-turn motifs of proteins. With this unique template, they could obtain very important, stable and cyclic peptides necessary for the formation of these structures. Since these motifs are usually located in the contact sites of PPI, it was possible for PRISM to screen a library of molecules that can modulate such interactions. Several clinical-stage projects have resulted from this library so far, including the CBP/β-catenin complex inhibitors licensed to Eisai earlier in 2011. CBP [CREB (cyclic AMP response element-binding protein) Binding Protein] is a transcriptional cofactor that binds to β-catenin and activates the Wnt signaling upon extracellular stimuli. The constitutive activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway leads to carcinogenesis. Therefore, the CBP/β-catenin complex inhibiting molecule emerged to be a potential treatment for cancers and has already undergone Phase I trials in the US for treating solid tumors.
Eisai has strategically expanded its oncological research from 2010 by acquiring Morphotek and collaborating with bio-ventures with novel technologies such as PRISM BioLab in PPI and Epizyme in cancer epigenetics. Eisai’s vision is to synergize all the capabilities and develop diverse treatments to tackle tricky cancers. Collaborations such as these are anticipated to benefit patients with advanced and incurable tumors.
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