Molecules that act as inhibitors of PI3K have major potential in the treatment of inflammatory disease.

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Karus Therapeutics and Queen Mary, University of London announce PI3 kinase collaboration

Karus Therapeutics Ltd, a company developing small-molecule drugs to treat cancer and inflammation, announced recently that it has signed an agreement to collaborate with Professor Bart Vanhaesebroeck at Queen Mary, University of London.

Professor Vanhaesebroeck is Centre Lead of the RAE four-star-rated Cell Signalling Laboratory. As part of the collaboration, Karus and Professor Vanhaesebroeck will be working to develop new small-molecule inhibitors of selected isoforms of phosphoinositide 3 kinases (PI3Ks).

The collaboration will bring Professor Vanhaesebroeck’s knowledge of the biology of certain members of the PI3K family to Karus’s small-molecule PI3K inhibitor program. The goal of the collaboration will be to develop best-in-class PI3K inhibitors with a unique selectivity profile.

PI3Ks are a family of related intracellular signal transducer enzymes, and molecules that act as inhibitors of PI3K have major potential in the treatment of chronic human diseases such as inflammatory disease and cancer. The importance of PI3K as a disease target is reflected in the number of clinical trials currently being sponsored by leading pharmaceutical companies.

‘We are looking forward to collaborating with Bart and his team at Queen Mary with the aim of identifying new drugs with major clinical and commercial potential,’ said Dr Simon Kerry, Chief Executive Officer of Karus Therapeutics. ‘PI3K inhibition has emerged as an important therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases, and Bart is an acknowledged world leader in the biology of this enzyme family,’ added Stephen Shuttleworth, Chief Scientific Officer of Karus Therapeutics. ‘Our collaboration is focused on the characterization and development of a novel class of PI3K inhibitors, and his insights will have a major impact on this significant program within our portfolio’.

‘We are delighted to have signed this agreement with Karus Therapeutics,’ added Laura Camurri, Technology Transfer manager at Queen Mary Innovation Ltd. ‘Karus is an innovative pharmaceutical company with significant long-term potential and we look forward to working together to design and develop best-in-class new treatments for cancer and inflammation’.

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