Media Release: 16 May 2013
The Garvan Institute of Medical Research and Cancer Therapeutics CRC Pty Ltd have signed a licence agreement with SYNkinase Pty Ltd to develop and market a unique Pan-Kinase Binding Agent to help screen human cells and tissues and identify potential drug targets in diseased states.
The novel agent has the unique ability to detect most protein kinases – critical cell signalling proteins – within a biological sample, giving the agent significant potential to become a remarkable research tool for life scientists around the globe.
In particular, it will now be possible to develop a so-called ‘kinome profile’ of normal and diseased cells, very useful for identifying potential drug markers.
The agent was discovered during a research collaboration between teams led by Professor Roger Daly of the Garvan Institute and Dr Ian Street, Dr Ian Holmes and Dr Scott Walker at Cancer Therapeutics CRC Pty Ltd. Their joint purpose was to design selective kinase enzyme inhibitors.
In contrast to other molecules tested, the Pan-Kinase Binding Agent binds tightly to a large number of different kinases (more than 200) making it a particularly un-selective kinase inhibitor. This relatively unique property of the agent is being used to purify and characterise various protein kinases, and will be very valuable for basic laboratory research, as well as drug target identification.
SYNkinase, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Melbourne-based SYN|thesis Research Pty Ltd, has taken an exclusive license to this technology in return for significant royalties on the sales of any products developed using the technology.
Professor Andrew Wilks, SYNkinase’s Chairman said: “This is a really exciting “Tool Compound” that will greatly enhance the experimental range of many life science researchers. The applications to proteomics and chemical biology research should drive a great many new discoveries going forwards. Beyond that we are eyeing the further development of this technology into the diagnostics and prognostics arena”.
Dr Warwick Tong, CEO of Cancer Therapeutics, said: “This shows how bright scientists working collaboratively can generate unexpected benefits from a research program and capture the intellectual property to the benefit of other researchers and patients.”
About Cancer Therapeutics CRC
Cancer Therapeutics CRC (CTx) is a small molecule drug discovery company that is translating innovative cancer biology research into lead and preclinical stage drug candidates. In particular it is targeting novel cancer pathways associated with the tumour microenvironment or growth, and to develop novel treatments for breast, prostate, melanoma, lung and brain cancers. Located in Melbourne, Australia, the Company was founded in January 2007 through a collaboration between a number of Australia's leading research institutions, commercial organisations and CRT. Further information can be found at www.cancercrc.com.
About CRC Australia
The Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) program is an Australian Government Initiative. The CRC program supports end-user driven research collaborations to address the major challenges facing Australia. Australia’s network of CRCs operates across all sectors of Australia’s economy and society. Further information about the CRC program is available from www.crc.gov.au.
SYNkinase is a research company with a strong commitment to the delivery of novel research tools for the life science community. A wholly owned subsidiary of SYN|thesis Research P/L, Synkinase is located within its own laboratories at the Monash Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Parkville. www.synkinase.com