TOKYO—Eisai Co. Ltd. has entered into a collaboration research agreement with the University of Dundee in Scotland regarding proteolysis targeting chimeras (PROTACs) with an eye toward drug discovery in oncology area.
PROTACs consist of two covalently linked protein-binding molecules: one capable of engaging an ubiquitin ligase (E3 ligase) and another that binds to a target protein meant for degradation. They work by recruiting an E3 ligase to tag the target protein for ubiquitination for degradation through the intracellular degradation system. It is hoped that research into PROTACs will lead to new drug discoveries for proteins present in cancer, which are difficult to treat with conventional small molecule inhibitors.
In this collaboration research, Prof. Alessio Ciulli of the University of Dundee’s School of Life Sciences, who is one of the global pioneers in the field of PROTACs research, is responsible for directing the research.
The collaboration combines the world-leading expertise and technology of the Ciulli laboratory in PROTACs research with Eisai's discovery research and clinical development experience in the oncology area. Under this agreement, Eisai has the option rights to develop and commercialize the compounds resulted from this collaboration research.