Navigation Links
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center partners with GlaxoSmithKline to develop muscular dystrophy therapeutics
Date:12/10/2012

SEATTLE Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) today announced a partnership to develop therapeutics to treat an inherited form of muscular dystrophy.

The goal of the new agreement is to develop a small-molecule-based medicine to potentially reverse facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, or FSHD, by inhibiting the activity of a protein that is incorrectly expressed by the DUX4 gene in people with the disease. The protein activity is what damages muscle cells and leads to progressive muscle weakness and atrophy in FSHD patients.

The genetic and disease mechanisms of FSHD were discovered by an international team of scientists led by Stephen Tapscott, M.D., Ph.D., a member of the Fred Hutch Human Biology Division, in a series of studies published between 2010 and early 2012. Tapscott will lead the Fred Hutch work in the GSK collaboration.

The team's discoveries also have implications for developing cancer immunotherapies because researchers also discovered that DUX4 regulates cancer/testis antigens. Cancer/testis antigens are encoded by genes that are normally expressed only in the human germ line but are also abnormally expressed in various tumor types, including melanoma and carcinomas of the bladder, lung and liver. This knowledge will give researchers a way to manipulate the expression of cancer/testis antigens, potentially opening the opportunity to use these antigens in a cancer vaccine.

The partnership with GSK is a first of its kind for Fred Hutch, which is also the first U.S.-based institution to sign on with GSK's "Discovery Partnership with Academia" (DPAc) program. GSK launched the program last year to combine the insight and creativity of the academic world with GSK's drug-discovery expertise to turn innovative research into medicines that benefit patients.

GSK currently has DPAc collaborations in place with Cambridge University and the University of Dundee in the U.K.

Unlike traditional licensing agreements in which the licensee is given full control to develop a discovery, the collaboration will involve GSK and Fred Hutch scientists working together to develop, test and hopefully bring to market a clinical treatment.

"GSK has huge expertise in developing agents against protein activity, so our opportunity to work with them is fantastic," Tapscott said.

"At GSK we believe that combining our drug-discovery expertise with the in-depth disease knowledge of specialist academic groups can seed innovation and help speed up the discovery and development of new medicines," said Pearl Huang, global head of DPAc. "We're excited to be expanding our academic program in North America and are looking forward to working closely with scientists like Dr. Tapscott, whose deep understanding of disease biology will complement our own work in this field."

FSHD affects about one in 20,000 individuals and usually begins in late adolescence. The effects start around the facial and upper-extremity muscles and eventually progress to muscles in the lower extremity. People with more severe FSHD become wheelchair bound and their life spans are often shortened.

In an era of flat federal research funding, this collaboration signals an increasing interest on the part of Fred Hutch to develop partnerships that further its lifesaving and innovative research.

"We're looking for more creative academic-industry partnerships like this one between Fred Hutch and GSK," said Ulrich Mueller, vice president of industry relations and technology transfer at Fred Hutch.

Tapscott's research on FSHD, which provides the scientific basis for the collaboration with GSK, was funded by Friends of FSH Research, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Financial terms of the Fred Hutch-GSK partnership were not disclosed.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dean Forbes
dforbes@fhcrc.org
206-667-2896
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Stem cell research provides hope for infertile cancer survivors
2. TGen-US Oncology data guides treatment of metastatic triple-negative breast cancer patients
3. Clinical trial tests rice bran to prevent cancer
4. Nanotechnology drug delivery shows promise for treatment of pediatric cancer
5. Predicting the age at menopause of women having suffered from childhood cancers
6. Research shows immune system response is detrimental to novel brain cancer therapy
7. University of Tennessee researchers find fungus has cancer-fighting power
8. Newly discovered effects of vitamin D on cancer
9. Fruit fly studies guide investigators to misregulated mechanism in human cancers
10. Does your job increase your breast cancer risk?
11. Reconsidering cancers bad guy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/30/2017)... 2017 Today, American Trucking Associations announced ... face and eye tracking software, became the newest ... "Artificial intelligence and advanced sensing ... a driver,s attentiveness levels while on the road.  ... detect fatigue and prevent potential accidents, which could ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... robotic gym for the rehabilitation and functional motor sense evaluation of lower ... . The first 30 robots will be available from June in ... The technology was developed and patented at the IIT laboratories and has ... to a 10 million euro investment from entrepreneur Sergio Dompè. ... ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... , May 5, 2017 ... just announced a new breakthrough in biometric authentication ... exploits quantum mechanical properties to perform biometric authentication. These ... smart semiconductor material created by Ram Group and ... finance, entertainment, transportation, supply chains and security. Ram ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... Antonio, Texas (PRWEB) , ... ... ... new study published on October 5, 2017, in the medical journal, Epilepsia, ... equivalence with the gold standard, video EEG, in detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the first commercially available Hi-C kit. Researchers ... perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their own facilities, supplementing the company’s full-service ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... The HealthTech Venture Network (HTVN) ... their fourth annual Conference where founders, investors, innovative practitioners and collaborators are invited ... competition showcasing early stage digital health and med tech companies. , This day-long ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... , ... October 05, 2017 , ... LabRoots , ... scientists from around the world, is giving back to cancer research with a month-long ... , Now through October 31, shoppers can use promo code PinkRibbon to get ...
Breaking Biology Technology: