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Almac Discovery Announce key Wee-1 kinase patent approval

Published 05 July 2017 | By Almac

Inhibitors of Wee-1 kinase, cell cycle regulator, have potential for clinical utility across a broad range of cancer indications

Almac Discovery, a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and identifying innovative therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademarks office (USPTO) has granted patent protection for a key patent family for its Wee-1 kinase inhibitor programme.

The team of experts at Almac Discovery, headquartered in Belfast, Northern Ireland, designed and optimised the novel Wee-1 kinase inhibitors which exhibit high potency and excellent selectivity. The inhibitors demonstrate potent anti-proliferative activity, both in vitro and in vivo, and in combination with genotoxics and as a single agent.

Many cancer treatments such as radiation, antimetabolites, alkylating agents, DNA topoisomerase inhibitors and platinum compounds damage DNA in cells. The cellular response is to arrest the cell cycle temporarily to allow for DNA repair hence reducing the effects of chemotherapy. The Wee-1 kinase appears to be a key regulator of a number of cell cycle checkpoints. These findings mean that Wee-1 kinase inhibitors may have great value across a multitude of cancer types in both combination and monotherapy modalities.

Dr Stephen Barr, Managing Director & President, Almac Discovery commented "We are delighted to have received notification of patent approval for our Wee-1 inhibitor programme for the US marketplace. This allowance expands our pipeline of best-in-class oncology projects and reaffirms Almac Discovery's position as a partner of choice in the challenging world of modern drug discovery."