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DDU Collaborates with Beactica Therapeutics AB

Beactica Therapeutics AB, Swedish drug discovery company, and the University of Dundee, a top-ranked UK university for biological sciences, today announced a new research collaboration.

The two parties will work together in a project aimed at inhibiting WRN helicase, a protein with significant therapeutic potential for cancers with microsatellite instability.

The collaboration will leverage core capabilities of each partner and build on the work of Professor John Rouse, on the control of chromosome stability and DNA repair in cancer. Beactica will contribute key technical strengths in identifying and optimizing allosteric binders as well as evaluating ternary degradation complexes formed by PROTACs based on such binders. The collaboration will also benefit from top facilities and expertise available at Dundee, including the Drug Discovery Unit, headed by Prof. Paul Wyatt FRSE and the MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit headed by Prof. Dario Alessi.

The DDU is unique in the UK academic system in that we translate novel biology research into drug discovery projects to deliver candidate drugs. We are highly aligned with industry colleagues and are delighted to be working with Beactica.

Professor Paul Wyatt, Head of the Drug Discovery Unit

WRN (Werner syndrome helicase) is an enzyme required for DNA replication and DNA repair and a validated target for tumours with microsatellite instability (MSI+). ‘Microsatellites’ are short tracts of repetitive nucleotide sequences prone to insertions/deletions during DNA replication. Normally these insertions/deletions are repaired by the mismatch repair pathway but failure to do so causes cancers with typical MSI+. MSI+ is found in ~20% of all colorectal cancers and is also found in endometrial, ovarian and gastric cancers. Inhibitors targeting WRN is expected to induce synthetic lethality in MSI+ tumours due to the protein's essential role. The ability to readily identify MSI tumours enables a clear patient stratification path in the clinic.

We are excited to embark on this collaboration with the University of Dundee, an institution with an impressive depth of expertise in the biological sciences. PROTACS represent a clear ‘sweet spot’ for our discovery technology.

Dr Per Källblad, CEO of Beactica

About Beactica Therapeutics AB

Beactica Therapeutics AB is a specialist drug discovery company, utilising its proprietary methodologies to evaluate the interactions of molecules in order to generate novel therapeutics. As well as advancing its own pipeline of first-in-class small molecule allosteric modulators of disease-associated proteins, with a focus in oncology, Beactica offers partnerships using its proprietary drug discovery platform.

Founded in 2006 based on research carried out at Uppsala University, Beactica has established a reputation as a world-leader in fragment-based drug discovery using SPR biosensor technology. For more information on Beactica Therapeutics, please visit www.beactica.com.

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