FEATURE: CRT builds a portfolio of projects in DNA Damage Response

2012-05-31 11:52:18

Over the past 2+ years, CRT's Discovery Laboratory (CRT-DL) has committed to building several portfolios of drug discovery projects focusing on “themes” in cancer biology.

Taking this themed approach has been advantageous to CRT-DL in many ways. From developing background knowledge and technologies that can benefit multiple projects, to engaging with multiple PI's and Key Opinion Leaders from across the CR-UK network who offer valuable input in diverse areas within the Theme.

These themes have proven commercial appeal. As the Cancer Metabolism alliance between CRT and AstraZeneca demonstrates, one of the key advantages to pharmaceuticals is gaining access to the latest top quality research. The intense focus of an academic institute or biotech, such as CRT, will always remain one of industries greatest assets, with its limitless provision of novel therapeutics.

CRT-DL is currently working on a programme in the area of DNA Damage Response (DDR).

The developments will build upon understanding how cells repair DNA damage caused by daily ‘wear and tear’ in the environment – including ultraviolet rays and tobacco - to identify possible points of therapeutic intervention for cancer patients.

There are currently 5 early stage projects in various stages of development in the DDR portfolio, and the projects have been further divided into subthemes:

Radiosensitisation: Targeted agents that will enhance the effects of radiation, resultting in increased cell death. Three projects within this subtheme, the most advanced is pending Hit Identification.

Synthetic Lethality: Targeted agents against a synthetic lethal partner where disease linkage data exists for the other partner being commonly mutated/inactivated in a known cancer type. One project within this subtheme is at the Target Validation/Protein production stage. 

Combinations with existing therapy (Chemosensitisation): Targeted agents that will enhance the effect of current SOC chemotherapy. One project within this subtheme is at Target Validation stage.

CRT-DL is constantly evaluating DDR targets from across the CR-UK network, and to date, more that 60 targets have been classified as falling under the DDR umbrella.

The DDR programme is ready for industrial collaboration as a “themed alliance” or on an individual project basis and CRT is actively seeking a commercial partner. Please contact Phil L'Huillier ( for more information.

Notes to editors