4SC AG has announced that its subsidiary 4SC Discovery GmbH, which specializes in the discovery and early-stage research of new substances, has been awarded a research grant for the discovery and identification of new epigenetic anti-cancer compounds in collaboration with its strategic cooperation partner CRELUX GmbH.
A joint research project between 4SC Discovery and CRELUX initially running for eleven months will receive funding under the Munich m4 biotech cluster programme. It will focus on the identification of bromodomain inhibitors and their possible later use in personalized medicine.
Bromodomains are considered promising targets for new drugs. By specifically blocking these bromodomains, it is intended to influence tumour cells in such a way that they are either identified and destroyed by the body's immune system or driven into apoptosis (programmed cell death).
Bromodomains allow epigenetic enzymes to attach to DNA complexes thus regulating the reading of the genetic information (DNA) in the cells.
If these processes malfunction, the development of diseases such as cancer may be facilitated. An objective of the funded m4 project by CRELUX and 4SC Discovery is the modulation of these mechanisms with new small-molecule compounds.
Dr Daniel Vitt, Managing Director of 4SC Discovery GmbH and Chief Scientific Officer of 4SC AG, said: "Epigenetic processes are instrumental in the development and differentiation of cells. However, their malfunctioning is also responsible for the development of diseases such as cancer. Through our research work, we have already built up extensive expertise in the inhibition of different epigenetic modulators from HDAC proteins up to LSD1. We will use this expertise now in collaboration with our long-term partner CRELUX to also identify potential inhibitors for the highly attractive bromodomain proteins. This cooperation is a further step in establishing the joint i2c platform of CRELUX and 4SC Discovery as one of Europe's leading technology platforms for innovative, ambitious drug discovery."
Dr Michael Schaeffer, Executive Director Strategy and Business of CRELUX GmbH, comments: "We are delighted to kick off yet another project in our strategic i2c alliance with 4SC Discovery. This will enable us to use our complementary technologies together once again. In the area of epigenetics, both partners have outstanding expertise from early-stage research to clinical development. CRELUX, for example, has established the world's largest portfolio of purified epigenetic proteins and numerous specific screening methods. We firmly believe that with our i2c platform we have created an excellent position from which to supply important starting points for new therapeutic agents in this innovative field of research."