AstraZeneca and PTC Therapeutics Join Forces to Develop New Therapies for Treatment of Cancer
LATEST NEWS – THURSDAY, 30 JUNE 2011
AstraZeneca and PTC Therapeutics will utilize their expertise in a joint research partnership to pursue an application of PTC’s proprietary GEMS™ technology (Gene Expression Modulation by Small-molecules). This will enable further progress in the field of research and treatment of cancer. WHO (World Health Organisation) studies reveal that the leading cause for death worldwide is cancer. Over 7.5 million (approx. 13% of all deaths worldwide) will be caused by cancer related illnesses. The death rate from cancer will continue to rise with deaths reaching over 11 million in 2030. WHO research indicates that more research is required into the development of scientific strategies for the prevention and control of cancer.
AstraZeneca and PTC Therapeutics joint venture represents progress in relation to innovative therapies. Conventional methods in drug innovation have resulted in effectiveness of just 10% for total disease targets. However PTC’s proprietary GEMS™ technology will facilitate the discovery of drugs resulting in the targeting of specific proteins. The new technology can decrease or increase protein expression of particular proteins through the targeting of regulatory mechanisms. In addition PTC’s proprietary GEMS™ technology can deliver small molecules which are administered orally.
The joint venture for the treatment of cancer will commit AstraZeneca to make a payment of an undisclosed amount to PTC Therapeutics. This payment will cover the costs for the initiation of the first target of the partnership and contribute to the research funds of PTC Therapeutics. The collaboration will firstly concentrate efforts on oncology with the prospect of pursuing further research into several therapeutic fields. Dr Susan Galbraith, Head of Oncology Innovative Medicines Research Unit, AstraZeneca, commented, “We are delighted to enter into this collaboration with PTC Therapeutics. PTC’s RNA biology expertise and the uniqueness of the GEMS technology are complementary to our internal efforts. We believe that the GEMS technology will enable AstraZeneca to address important disease mechanisms that were intractable with our existing approaches.” If research carried out by PTC Therapeutics is successful and meets certain targets, PTC Therapeutics will be entitled to further payments. PTC Therapeutics is permitted to partake in the development of specific products which may emerge from the venture. The global commercialization rights will be retained by AstraZeneca.
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