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Queen’s University Belfast has entered into a collaboration and licensing agreement with Ipsen to research, develop, manufacture and commercialise FLIP inhibitors.
Supported by the integrated medicines research service partner Domainex, which generated a set of small-molecule FLIP inhibitors via its LeadBuilder virtual screening platform, and with funding from a Wellcome Trust Seeding Drug Discovery award, it is hoped that the collaboration will lead to cutting-edge cancer treatments.
FLIP is a major apoptosis-regulatory protein that is frequently overexpressed in haematological and solid tumours – including colorectal, lung and pancreatic cancer. It has been implicated in the regulation of cell death, is a key oncology target and has been shown to increase with tumour progression in a variety of cancers.
“We are very pleased that our successful collaboration with Queen’s and the Wellcome Trust has generated a set of FLIP inhibitors to warrant further investigation by Ipsen,” said Tom Mander, CEO, Domainex. “It is further testament of the power of our integrated drug discovery engine to deliver potential breakthrough new medicines to treat debilitating diseases and demonstrates the value that our team brings to our partners.”
Dr Lynsey Bilsland, Innovation Lead, Wellcome Trust, added: “The FLIP inhibitor programme is an excellent example of using novel ideas in drug discovery to try and improve cancer outcomes. Domainex was instrumental in supporting this. We have high confidence in the teams at Ipsen and Queen’s in further developing this technology into the clinic.”