Grant Funding Awarded to Advance Cancer Therapeutics Discovery

Collaboration to use genetically engineered mouse models to validate a new approach to cancer therapy

The CRUK (Cancer Research UK) Scotland Institute and Oxford Drug Design, a biotechnology company with core expertise in AI drug discovery, have announced that their joint application for the UK MRC (UK Medical Research Council) National Mouse Genetics Network (NMGN) Business Engagement Fund has been awarded.

Oxford Drug Design is developing an innovative approach for the modulation of a validated cancer pathway fuelling disease progression. This approach would be clinically novel and bears the potential to display improved efficacy and lower toxicity than existing treatments.

The Cancer Research UK Scotland Institute has a long-standing track record in the development and implementation of sophisticated genetically engineered mouse models which they will deploy for the in-depth characterization of Oxford Drug Design’s novel small molecule anticancer compounds. Notably, research conducted at the CRUK Scotland Institute and others has highlighted these in vivo models as a unique predictive preclinical drug testing platform of clinical response to anticancer therapies in a subset of cancer patients, thus derisking subsequent studies in humans.

The newly announced joint studies aim to degenerate proof of principle data which will be of primary importance to the ongoing development of Oxford’s first-in-class compounds and provide the basis for further possible collaborations.

Dr Paul Finn, CSO of Oxford Drug Design commented: “We are delighted that the potential of our novel anticancer compounds has been recognized with this award and are honoured to be working with Cancer Research UK Scotland Institute on this joint project. The models developed by CRUK SI are world-leading and the project will be of great value in validating our innovative approach. This is only the first of further opportunities to advance novel compounds emerging from our proprietary GenAI discovery platform.”

Dr. Alan D. Roth, CEO of Oxford Drug Design, added: “The combination of Oxford Drug Design’s novel anti-cancer small molecules with the distinctive and highly predictive in vivo platform of CRUK Scotland Institute has enormous potential for patients and their oncologists. We are delighted to be working directly with researchers at the CRUK Scotland Institute and are very grateful to MRC NMGN for funding this valuable collaboration”.

Dr. Andrew Campbell (Research Team Lead) and Dr. Valeria Pavet (Senior Translational Scientist) from CRUK Scotland Institute commented: “We are very pleased to be able to bring our pioneering capabilities in anticancer compound characterization to support Oxford Drug Design accelerate their drug discovery efforts. The project is highly aligned with our core research interests and our mission of increasing the application of our science in a translational setting to contribute filling the gap between bench and bedside.”

Prof. Owen Sansom, Director of the NMGN, CRUK Scotland Centre and CRUK Scotland Institute highlighted: “The goal of the MRC NMGN Business Engagement Fund is to foster collaborations between businesses and academic research teams, boosting the exchange of knowledge and promoting the development of feasibility studies and/or pilot projects to lay the foundation for strong collaborative grant proposals that drive innovation. I am delighted that this Fund has allowed researchers at Oxford Drug Design and the CRUK SI to partner in the development of new and better options for the treatment of cancer patients and look very much forward to the outcome of their research.”

About Oxford Drug Design Ltd:

Oxford Drug Design, a pre-clinical stage therapeutics spinout from Oxford University, is discovering innovative anti-cancer therapeutics supported by pioneering computational methods. At the cutting edge of machine learning and AI applied to pre-clinical drug discovery, Oxford Drug Design is also expanding to provide its proprietary computational capabilities to third parties to advance their internal programmes.

Follow Oxford Drug Design on Twitter @OxDrugDes and LinkedIn @OxfordDrugDesign

Dr. Alan D. Roth:

Alan’s career in life sciences comprises basic research, investment management/capital markets, strategic consultancy and emerging company operations. Starting his career as a chemist at Merck & Co., Inc. in New Lead Discovery, after his academic work he joined McKinsey serving leading companies in a variety of industries. He subsequently became Director at Commerzbank Asset Management, in charge of global equity bio-investments, as well as overall industrial investment research.

He co-founded, took public in the US and was first CEO and CFO of Chiral Quest, Inc., a life sciences company in the area of chiral pharmaceuticals. At the University of Oxford, he was awarded the Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence and is a Visiting Lecturer in the area of science entrepreneurship. Alan earned his BA (Hons) from Cornell University, PhD from Columbia University, and Postdoctoral Fellowship from the University of Oxford in medicinal chemistry.

About the Cancer Research UK Scotland Institute:

The Cancer Research UK Scotland Institute (formerly known as the Beatson Institute) in Glasgow, directed by Professor Owen Sansom, is one of Europe’s leading cancer research centres, supporting cutting-edge work into the molecular mechanisms of cancer development. As well as core support from Cancer Research UK, the Institute also receives an additional third of its total income from external grants and industry collaborations. The Institute has an excellent reputation for fundamental cancer research, including world-class metabolism studies and renowned in vivo modelling of tumour growth and metastasis.

www.crukscotlandinstitute.ac.uk

The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, a Registered Scottish Charity No SC006106 & Company Limited by Guarantee (Registered in Scotland No 84170) [trading as the Cancer Research UK Scotland Institute]

About the MRC NMGN:

The MRC National Mouse Genetics Network is a Medical Research Council initiative that consists of multiple disease-focused clusters pursuing distinctive, but complementary, challenge-led research and the Mary Lyon Centre at MRC Harwell acting as a central hub generating and robustly phenotyping mouse strains, performing pre-clinical trials, and providing training.

Dr Alan Roth

Dr. Alan D. Roth, CEO of Oxford Drug Design, has an expansive career, comprising basic research, investment management/capital markets, strategic consultancy and emerging company operations. Starting his career as a chemist at Merck & Co., Inc. in New Lead Discovery, after his academic work he joined McKinsey serving leading companies in a variety of industries. He subsequently became Director at Commerzbank Asset Management, in charge of global equity bio-investments, as well as overall industrial investment research.

He co-founded, took public in the US and was first CEO and CFO of Chiral Quest, Inc., a life sciences company in the area of chiral pharmaceuticals. At the University of Oxford, he was awarded the Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence and is a Visiting Lecturer in the area of science entrepreneurship. Alan earned his BA (Hons) from Cornell University, PhD from Columbia University, and Postdoctoral Fellowship from the University of Oxford in medicinal chemistry.

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Grant Funding Awarded to Advance Cancer Therapeutics Discovery

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The CRUK (Cancer Research UK) Scotland Institute and Oxford Drug Design, a biotechnology company with core expertise in AI drug discovery, have announced that their joint application for the MRC (UK Medical Research Council) National Mouse Genetics Network (NMGN) Business Engagement Fund has been awarded.

Grant Funding Awarded to Advance Cancer Therapeutics Discovery

Dr Alan Roth • 04th June 2024

The CRUK (Cancer Research UK) Scotland Institute and Oxford Drug Design, a biotechnology company with core expertise in AI drug discovery, have announced that their joint application for the MRC (UK Medical Research Council) National Mouse Genetics Network (NMGN) Business Engagement Fund has been awarded.