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Astex, MSD Announce Expansion to Drug Discovery Collaboration


Partnership aims to identify small molecule candidates’ activity towards tumor suppressor protein.

Medical team working on digital tablet healthcare doctor technology tablet using computer analyzed the results of medical reports at the hospital. Image Credit: Adobe Stock Images/NINENII

Image Credit: Adobe Stock Images/NINENII

Astex Pharmaceuticals, and MSD (Merck), have revealed a worldwide research collaboration, intending to identify small molecule candidates with activity towards a tumor suppressor protein for the treatment of cancer. Under terms of the partnership, Astex will employ its drug discovery platform to develop compounds targeting multiple forms of the p53 tumor suppressor protein, providing MSD with lead compounds for further optimization. Receiving a beginning payment of $35 million, Astex will be eligible for a further $500 million in royalties pending achievement of various milestones.

“Astex is applying its fragment-based drug discovery capability to design and generate small molecule modulators tailored to a wide range of potentially important therapeutic targets,” said Harren Jhoti, president, CEO, Astex, in a company press release. “This new alliance builds on our existing productive collaboration and allows us to combine our expertise and assets with MSD’s wide-ranging oncology capabilities.”

Reference: Astex Expands Drug Discovery Collaboration With MSD. Astex. August 8, 2023. Accessed August 9, 2023. https://astx.com/astex-expands-drug-discovery-collaboration-with-msd/

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