Aptamer and Cancer Research UK collaborate for drug discovery

The project will explore aptamers as therapeutic agents for the treatment of Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukaemia and other myeloid malignancies

Following the successful awarding of a CRUK Biotherapeutic Drug Discovery Project Award, Aptamer Therapeutics, has formed a new collaboration with Dan Wiseman and the Oglesby Leukaemia Research Programme at the University of Manchester and Cancer Research UK.

The project will explore the potential of aptamers as therapeutic agents for the treatment of Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukaemia (CMML) and other myeloid malignancies.

Aptamers are synthetic alternatives to antibodies that can be designed as therapeutics to disrupt disease targets and pathways.

The partnership intends to build on the initial data showing aptamers with therapeutic potential that can selectively target a key gene fault involved in driving this group of cancers.

Tony Hickson, Cancer Research UK’s Chief Business Officer, said: “By bringing together the best minds in academic cancer research with the rigour and drive of industry partners, we can accelerate the development of potentially life-saving new treatments.”

The Cancer Research UK Biotherapeutic Drug Discovery Project Award aims to increase the availability of biotherapeutic drugs for the management of cancer. Aptamers are a relatively young technology, and this will allow the assessment of their potential in a wider therapeutic setting.

Arron Tolley, Aptamer Therapeutics’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “This is further validation of the potential of our platform to generate therapeutic molecules for further development.”

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