Astellas, Dana-Farber Cancer Insitute Partner in Small-Molecule Pact
Astrellas Pharma Inc. and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have formed a three-year collaboration to research and develop small-molecule inhibitors of oncogenic K-Ras for the treatment of cancer, including lung cancer. K-Ras is the most commonly mutated oncogene in human cancers, with about 30% of all cancers harboring activating rasmutations, according to information from Astellas. Cancers with a high prevalence of K-Ras mutations, such as lung cancer and pancreatic cancer, are difficult to treat and clinical outcomes are poor even with aggressive medical interventions.
In addition to providing research support, Astellas has an option to obtain from Dana-Farber an exclusive, worldwide license to novel K-Ras inhibitors obtained from the research collaboration, and upon exercise of the option, would conduct further preclinical research and development on such K-Ras inhibitors, and subsequent clinical development and commercialization.
This collaboration is being led by Innovation Management of Astellas Pharma Inc. (AIM), a new division established by Astellas in October 2013, to enhance and accelerate the process of screening and acquiring external opportunities to strengthen innovation at the preclinical development stage. AIM oversees strategic alliance activities with external partners and is responsible for a series of activities at acquiring external innovation opportunities in the preclinical development stage, such as strategy planning, screening, scientific assessment, and alliance negotiations, so that strategic external business alliances can be strategically and systematically performed.