Abbott, Genentech and WEHI Collaborate to Research and Develop New Anti-Cancer Drugs

Abbott, Genentech and WEHI Collaborate to Research and Develop New Anti-Cancer Drugs

MELBOURNE, Australia, Feb 27, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) announced today that Abbott, a global, broad-based, healthcare company, Genentech, a leading biotechnology company based in South San Francisco and WEHI have joined in a tripartite research collaboration to discover new anti-cancer drugs.

"This exciting three party research collaboration among world leaders in this field may increase the chance of translating basic scientific research in apoptosis, the process of programmed cell death, as carried out by our collaborators over recent years, into novel targeted cancer therapeutics," says Dr. Julian Clark, Head of Business Development at WEHI.

"We are excited to collaborate with Abbott and Genentech based on their expertise in apoptosis and strong track records in the development of small molecule drugs. We believe both will be excellent collaborators in bringing forward potential novel cancer therapeutics that target the apoptosis pathway," explains WEHI cancer researcher, Dr. David Huang.

Under the terms of the collaboration the three parties are engaged in a drug discovery research program, with Genentech and Abbott being responsible for the development, manufacturing and commercialization of potential new drugs. The discovery stage of the collaboration involves an integrated approach engaging research sites in South San Francisco, the Chicago area and Melbourne. Financial terms of the collaboration will not be disclosed.

WEHI's director, Professor Suzanne Cory, emphasizes that "WEHI's first priority is to work to ensure that cancer patients benefit from the results of our fundamental research and all three parties in the collaboration are committed to the discovery and development of improved cancer treatments that enable patients to live longer and healthier lives."

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