Poniard Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and the Scripps Research Institute have announced that an agreement has been executed licensing classes of protein kinase inhibitors for the treatment of human diseases, including cancer.
The research collaboration was initiated in 2005 at Scripps Florida, a division of the Institute located in Palm Beach County, and later broadened to include The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California. The license includes compounds that were discovered by Scripps Research in collaboration with Poniard.
"We are pleased with the productive collaboration with Scripps Research, and we are continuing to build on the progress of this collaboration to identify compounds that have significant potential to treat cancer and other diseases," said Jerry McMahon, Ph.D., chairman and CEO of Poniard.
"We are on target with our program at Poniard to identify a kinase drug candidate that has the potential to be combined with our lead product picoplatin, which is currently in a Phase 3 registration study for small cell lung cancer."
Kinases regulate signaling networks and thereby control cellular properties such as proliferation, invasion, survival and differentiation. Mutations or altered expression of kinases can lead to malignant properties. In oncology, kinase inhibitors have been shown to impact the growth, survival and spread of tumor cells.
"This successful collaboration is consistent with our vision for Scripps Florida, accelerating the pace of discoveries from the laboratory to the treatment of patients," said Richard A. Lerner, M.D., president of The Scripps Research Institute. "We look forward to continued progress for this program at Poniard."