Dr Jody Mason from the Department of Biology & Biochemistry and the University of Bath have entered into a research collaboration agreement with biotechnology company Sapience Therapeutics Inc., to discover new therapeutic agents for cancers.
Sapience is focused on discovering and developing peptide therapeutics to address difficult to treat cancers.
Dr Barry Kappel, founder and chief executive officer of Sapience Therapeutics, said: "We are pleased to be collaborating with Dr Jody Mason and the University of Bath to discover promising new oncology drugs. Jody has spent over 15 years developing and refining this drug discovery approach and has demonstrated a capacity to generate promising leads against selected targets. This collaboration gives Sapience the opportunity to supplement our ST101 program with a broad pipeline of new peptide therapeutics targeting oncogenic and immune-modulatory protein-protein interactions."
He added: "We are also excited about the addition of ST201 to our pipeline, which is a promising anti-cancer agent discovered by Dr Mason that has the potential to treat many solid tumour indications."
Dr Mason said: "Protein-protein interactions represent a class of drug targets that typically lack the required binding pockets to be inhibited via conventional small-molecule approaches. Sapience and myself share the view that oncogenic protein-protein interactions are best targeted via peptide-based therapeutics. I am incredibly excited by this collaboration and look forward to our discovery of molecules targeting cancers that are currently very difficult to treat."
Under the terms of the agreement, Sapience will have exclusive rights to the development and commercialisation of any novel compounds arising from this research. For molecules developed under the agreement, University of Bath will receive milestone payments associated with clinical development and a royalty on future commercial sales. The agreement also provides Sapience with the right to build, own, operate and partner the discovery platform.