Reaction Biology Joins the Fight Against DIPG with M4K Pharma [News Release]
Malvern, PA- May 23, 2018. Reaction Biology Corporation (“RBC”), a leading contract research organization providing early stage drug discovery services, announced that it has partnered with M4K Pharma (“M4K”), an open science drug discovery and development company, in the fight against diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (or DIPG), a rare pediatric brain cancer with no curative therapies.
RBC and M4K’s partnership uses a novel open science non-profit business model that encourages collaboration and sharing to help treat childhood diseases believed to be commercially prohibitive for conventional drug discovery companies. As part of the open science approach, the project’s scientific progress is discussed in monthly virtual meetings that can be joined by anyone. Furthermore, RBC and M4K are committed to publishing all of the structures and data generated, as will other researchers collaborating on the project. Any profits from medicines discovered by M4K will be reinvested into more open source research for other diseases through the Agora Open Science Trust.
Initial research is focusing on targeting the ALK2 kinase which is mutated in at least 25% of DIPG cases. Later efforts may also include EZH2, a methyltransferase enzyme. RBC’s expertise will be critical to the success of this project, as they are a leading provider of both kinase and epigenetic assays. RBC provides more than 1000 biochemical kinase and epigenetic assays as well as cell based and bio-physical assays. RBC uses radioisotope-based assays for both kinase and methyltransferase target classes, which is widely considered as the “gold standard” assay platform.
“RBC has done spectacular work for us so far,” said Jeff O’Meara, who leads the DIPG research project for M4K. “All of the partners are moving quickly. Children afflicted with DIPG have life expectancies of less than a year, so we all feel a great sense of urgency in this project.” The initial research partners with M4K include RBC, Charles River Laboratories, and The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.
Haiching Ma, Chief Science Officer at RBC, said “RBC has over 1100 customers worldwide researching many diseases. But in this case we’re happy to contribute our efforts to this new open model, since diseases like DIPG will not see treatments developed otherwise.”
Reaction Biology Corporation (RBC) is a premiere CRO for early drug discovery services, including biochemical and biophysical screening and profiling techniques, assay development, protein production and cell-based assays. RBC has also added electrophysiology capability, including hERG patch clamping, screening, and other in vitro toxicity services. RBC holds the record for the largest collection of human active kinases and epigenetic factors for drug discovery services. RBC is one of the specialized Chemical Biology Centers for the NIH’s NExT program, performs NIH funded research and provides early drug discovery solutions through collaborations.
M4K Pharma is an open science drug discovery and development company dedicated to finding affordable new medicines for children’s orphan diseases. Through its Medicines4Kids program, M4K is developing a treatment for diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG), a rare and fatal pediatric brain cancer with no curative therapies. M4K partners with academics, foundations and industry groups for its drug discovery and drug development programs and uses open science principles of data sharing to encourage research collaborations and reduce costs. M4K is based out of Toronto, Canada. For more info: www.m4kpharma.com, and watch M4K’s monthly project meetings at: https://m4kpharma.com/category/m4k-monthly-scientific-meeting/
For more information contact:
Haiching Ma, [email protected]
Owen Roberts, [email protected]