[Beijing, March 6, 2019]. Suzhou Kintor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Kintor”) signed Technology Transfer Agreement with Peking University (“PKU”) at Yingjie Exchange Center of Peking University. Leaders from relevant departments and Faculty of Chemistry of PKU participated in the signing ceremony. According to the agreement, Kintor will own the global intellectual property rights and commercialization rights of c-Myc protein inhibitor developed by Professor Lai Luhua’s research team of PKU.
New Drug Project Cooperation Signing Ceremony between Kintor and PKU
Natural disordered protein c-Myc contains helix-loop-helix and leucine zipper domain, which plays an important role in cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. Myc gene expression is strictly regulated in normal cells. However, the process of heterochromatinization or gene amplification may cause abnormal expression of Myc thus leading to cancer. Myc overexpression can be observed in human malignant tumors, such as lymphoma, neuroblastoma, melanoma, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer and liver cancer. Therapeutic drugs targeted on c-Myc are expected to fill the unmet clinical needs.
However, c-Myc is a natural disordered protein, which lacks available drug recognition site, so finding small molecule inhibitors which directly targets on c-Myc protein has long been a major problem in global drug development.. The activity of existing pre-clinical and clinical c-Myc inhibitors is very low. Professor Lai Luhua from PKU proposed the binding mode of “ligand cloud” around “protein cloud” for the first time. The team synthesized a series of new small molecule inhibitors targeted c-Myc protein by using computer-aided drug design. Compared with other inhibitors in the market, their inhibitor’s activity has been improved significantly. Through successful introduction of this c-Myc inhibitor project, Kintor is expected to carve out a new way for treatment of multiple tumors.
Kintor’s Representatives with PKU’s Relevant Leaders and Professor Lai Luhua’ Research Team
Professor Lai Luhua said, “The inhibitor is the most active c-Myc protein inhibitor in vitro worldwide and is expected to become a ‘first-in-class’ innovative drug for treatment of multiple cancers. This inhibitor is totally innovated by Chinese scientist and can reach international level. We have always welcomed excellent enterprises with professional and scientific research spirits such as Kintor to exchange thoughts and cooperate on academic research projects in order to get through the ‘last mile’ of scientific and technological achievements transformation in our colleges and universities. Universities, which harbor most talents and achievements, can optimize resources allocation, fully stiffen initiative of scientific and technological personnel, and enhance the level of transformation of scientific and technological achievements via such university-industry cooperation, so as to further enhance their ability to serve economic and social development.
Dr. Tong Youzhi, Chairman and CEO of Kintor, said: “This project is an important measure to develop Kintor’s university-industry cooperation strategy. In recent years, Kintor not only focuses on independent research and development, but also adheres to the principle of complementary advantages, mutual benefit and common development. We constantly strengthen the exchange and cooperation with pharmaceutical enterprises, scientific research institutes and universities. Enriching product line of the company at the same time, we consistently improve technological innovation level and scientific research personnel quality, so as to transform the latest scientific research achievements into real productivity and enhance core competitiveness of the company.”
Profile of Professor Lai Luhua
Prof. Lai Luhua is the specially retained Professor of Yangtze River and doctoral supervisor. She received her Ph.D. degree from Department of Chemistry ,Peking University in 1989. She is a professor in College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering in Peking University, director of State Key Laboratory for Structural Chemistry of Unstable and Stable Species, director of Institute of Physical Chemistry, and vice director of Center for Quantitative Biology. She has been engaged in structure-based and system-based drug design, protein design and bio-molecular recognition mechanism for a long time, and has published more than 200 research papers in international journals, and has got more than 30 patents and software copyrights. The new drug design software LigBuilder based on target structure, protein binding site analysis software CavityPlus, system-based drug design and allosteric drug design and many other drug design developed by Lai Luhua’s Research Team have found wide application worldwide. Many examples of successful applications have been reported by media. Professor Lai Luhua is currently in charge of national key research and development project for protein machine and life process regulation project “Research on Key Technologies of New Drug Research and Development Oriented by 3D Structure of Protein Machine”.
Profile of Kintor
Established in March 2009, Kintor focuses on research, development and commercialization of “best-in-class” and “first-in-class” innovative drugs. All products of the company are class 1.1 new drugs for prostate cancer, breast cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, hair loss and other diseases. Kintor has more than 50 patents worldwide, and many projects are listed as national “Major New Drug Innovation” special projects in the 12th and 13th Five-Year Plan. As the main product of the company, Proxalutamide carried out phase I-III clinical trials in China and the United States simultaneously. Proxalutamide has entered phase III clinical trial as second line and first line therapy for mCRPC successfully. The ALK-1 monoclonal antibody is the first global license granted by Pfizer to develop a novel antibody drug for cancers. Its phase I clinical trials have been completed in the United States and other places and its phase II multi-regional clinical trials for liver cancer is on-going. Pyrilutamide phase I clinical trials is on-going in China and the United States simultaneously. Other research and developing pipelines also include PI3K/mTOR targeted kinase inhibitors, Hedgehog/SMO inhibitors, IDO inhibitors, AR-Degrader and so on.