Cancer Research Horizons, an oncology drug company linked to Cancer Research UK, is looking to progress its drug candidate, CRT’2199, and has signed an agreement with Turbine for this purpose.
The agreement sees Cancer Research Horizons gain access to Turbine’s Simulated Cells platform, which is able to identify patient populations and cancer types that could benefit from the CDC7 inhibitor drug candidate.
CDC7 is a protein that plays a role in the regulation of cell division in normal cells, but when there is a dysregulation of the protein, this can lead to the formation of cancer cells. The overexpression of the protein is correlated with poor clinical progression in various cancers.
However, despite the link with the progression of cancer, there are no CDC7 inhibitors that have progressed to Phase III trials, and there is a limited understanding of what types of cancer could be potentially treated by inhibiting the protein.
Cancer Research Horizons is aiming to rectify this through its partnership with Turbine, wherein they will inhibit CDC7 in digital cancer cells that represent different patient populations.
According to Turbine, the platform works by training digital versions of cancer cells to behave in the same way that real cancer cells would, enabling effective simulations to show how the cells would react to different triggers.
Through the use of the Simulated Cells platform, the partners hope to be able to learn more about the potential for CRT’2199 in a way that can be achieved at a larger scale and at the faster speed than is possible with traditional drug discovery methods.
Turbine will receive a revenue share of any potential future revenues from the CDC7 inhibitor program upon successful commercialization, in exchange for identifying and validating a disease positioning strategy.
Turbine states that several top-20 pharma companies, including Bayer, have relied on its technology to generate multiple predictions that are currently in clinical validation.
The Hungarian biotech recently completed a €20m ($21.3m) Series A funding round to expand its offering in November 2022. During the announcement on the capital raise, the biotech outlined that the technology had already successfully identified dozens of clinically validated targets “invisible to any other computation approach.”
For Cancer Research Horizons’ part, the company is currently developing 15 drugs that are in Phase II and Phase III trials, with a total of 50 partnered agents in pre-clinical and clinical development.