Wellcome Trust Sanger, Mass. General, Blueprint to collaborate on cancer targets
by Kelsey Kaustinen  |  Email the author


CAMBRIDGE, Mass.óBlueprint Medicines, a company that focuses on the molecular blueprint of cancer as the basis for developing highly selective therapies, has announced the establishment of its first collaboration with the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, a genomic research center located in the United Kingdom and primarily funded by the Wellcome Trust. Under this collaboration, the partners will focus on a collection of Blueprint Medicines' next-generation, highly selective kinase inhibitor compounds and will use the extensive human cancer cell line panel developed by the Sanger Institute and Massachusetts General in hopes of facilitating the discovery of novel cancer targets.
"Blueprint Medicines is building a pipeline of next-generation kinase inhibitors focused on specific genetic abnormalities," Chris Varma, Ph.D., president and CEO of Blueprint Medicines, said in a press release about the partnership. "Our discovery process begins with a genomic blueprint of specific patient populations and the utilization of our proprietary genomics platform, which rapidly identifies novel targets and potential combination partners. We have now built a pioneering chemical library of novel compounds that covers the majority of the kinome, some of which to be used in this collaboration, with selectivity that far surpasses prior generations of kinase inhibitors. We are excited to form a collaboration with the Sanger Institute to identify novel cancer targets and better understand cancer dependencies."  
The Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and the Sanger Institute have collaborated in the past to create a panel of more than 1,200 cancer cell lines for use in screening compounds in order to determine their activity toward certain cancer targets. Under this collaboration, Blueprint Medicines will contribute kinase inhibitors that address more than 60 unique targets. No financial terms for the collaboration were disclosed.
"Blueprint Medicines has built a novel kinase library from scratch that will allow us to interrogate the human kinome. Sanger Institute researchers will leverage our expertise in understanding the dependencies of the cancer cell lines utilizing Blueprint's compounds as unique tools to further interrogate our extensive cell panel," Ultan McDermott, Ph.D., principal investigator of the collaboration at Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, commented in a statement. "This is the first time that such a broad screen across the kinome is possible with such selective compounds. We look forward to working with Blueprint Medicines to identify novel cancer targets that are so desperately needed by the biopharmaceutical industry."  
Blueprint Medicines' approach is based on its proprietary Insights-to-Validation platform and chemical library, by which it works to develop genomically tailored therapies with high selectivity.            
SOURCE: Blueprint Medicines press release
Code: E03191301

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