Novartis, UC Berkeley Partner in Undruggable Therapeutics
Novartis has partnered with the University of California, Berkeley, to develop new technologies for therapeutics and pursue disease targets in cancer and other illnesses that have eluded traditional small-molecule compounds and are considered “undruggable.”
The collaboration establishes the Novartis-Berkeley Center for Proteomics and Chemistry Technologies, based in existing labs at Berkeley, and includes support for joint research projects between Novartis and Berkeley scientists. The projects use covalent chemoproteomics technology that is used to map locations on protein targets.
The alliance will also explore the potential of emerging therapeutics known as degraders, which involve the use of bifunctional molecules that bind to disease targets on one end and on the other end, to a key component in a cell’s natural protein-disposal system. The collaborators plan to test whether the covalent chemoproteomics technology could aid in reducing the time required to create potential degraders from years to months.
Other aspects of the collaboration include screening natural product compounds and using the covalent chemoproteomics system to discover their targets, understanding mechanism of action, and developing new platform technology to discover compounds to bind to greater numbers of proteins.