Wellcome Trust Sanger, Mass. General, Blueprint to collaborate on cancer targets

Partners to combine Blueprint Medicines' kinase inhibitor compounds with the cancer cell line developed by Massachusetts General and Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Kelsey Kaustinen
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—BlueprintMedicines, a company that focuses on the molecular blueprint of cancer as thebasis for developing highly selective therapies, has announced theestablishment of its first collaboration with the Massachusetts GeneralHospital Cancer Center and Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, a genomic researchcenter located in the United Kingdom and primarily funded by the WellcomeTrust. Under this collaboration, the partners will focus on a collection ofBlueprint Medicines' next-generation, highly selective kinase inhibitorcompounds and will use the extensive human cancer cell line panel developed bythe Sanger Institute and Massachusetts General in hopes of facilitating thediscovery of novel cancer targets.
 
"Blueprint Medicines is buildinga pipeline of next-generation kinase inhibitors focused on specific geneticabnormalities," Chris Varma, Ph.D., president and CEO of Blueprint Medicines,said in a press release about the partnership. "Our discovery process beginswith a genomic blueprint of specific patient populations and the utilization ofour proprietary genomics platform, which rapidly identifies novel targets andpotential combination partners. We have now built a pioneering chemical libraryof novel compounds that covers the majority of the kinome, some of which to beused in this collaboration, with selectivity that far surpasses priorgenerations of kinase inhibitors. We are excited to form a collaboration withthe Sanger Institute to identify novel cancer targets and better understandcancer dependencies."
 
 
The Massachusetts GeneralHospital Cancer Center and the Sanger Institute have collaborated in the pastto create a panel of more than 1,200 cancer cell lines for use in screeningcompounds in order to determine their activity toward certain cancer targets.Under this collaboration, Blueprint Medicines will contribute kinase inhibitorsthat address more than 60 unique targets. No financial terms for thecollaboration were disclosed.
 
"Blueprint Medicines has builta novel kinase library from scratch that will allow us to interrogate the humankinome. Sanger Institute researchers will leverage our expertise inunderstanding the dependencies of the cancer cell lines utilizing Blueprint'scompounds as unique tools to further interrogate our extensive cell panel,"Ultan McDermott, Ph.D., principal investigator of the collaboration at WellcomeTrust Sanger Institute, commented in a statement. "This is the first time thatsuch a broad screen across the kinome is possible with such selectivecompounds. We look forward to working with Blueprint Medicines to identifynovel cancer targets that are so desperately needed by the biopharmaceuticalindustry."
 
 
Blueprint Medicines' approachis based on its proprietary Insights-to-Validation platform and chemicallibrary, by which it works to develop genomically tailored therapies with highselectivity.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SOURCE: Blueprint Medicines press release

Kelsey Kaustinen

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