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September 16, 2013 12:09 pm

Israel’s Teva Partners With UK’s Cancer Research Technology to Develop Cancer Drugs

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Teva factory in Har Hotzvim, Jerusalem.

Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) and Cancer Research UK’s technology development arm, Cancer Research Technology Ltd., formed an alliance to develop new cancer drugs, Israel’s Globes business daily reported on Monday citing a statement issued by the two companies.

Teva said the alliance would provide it with the opportunity to research and develop selected and differentiated novel treatments that modulate DNA damage and repair response (DDR) processes in cancerous cells. DDR plays a key role in protecting cancerous cells from the toxic effects of chemotherapy. The cells that are best able to repair the DNA damage caused by cancer treatments survive to replicate, naturally selecting the mutation with the best repair capability, leading to recurrence and resistance to treatment.

By developing DDR capabilities, the partnership has the potential to expand the clinical utility and therapeutic effectiveness of Teva’s current portfolio of oncology chemotherapeutic agents. The approach builds on Teva’s focus on personalized medicine throughout its R&D pipeline, and specifically within its oncology portfolio, the company said.

Cancer Research UK and CRT’s expertise in DDR-related basic, translational, and clinical research is leading the field, building the understanding to enable “smarter” use of this novel approach in developing new treatment options.  It’s knowledge base is fed by researchers at leading UK universities and five cancer research institutes — Gray Institute, Oxford; Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute; London Research Institute; Paterson Institute, Manchester; and the Beatson Institute, Glasgow.

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Dr. Michael Hayden, president of Teva Global R&D and Chief Scientific Officer, said, “For cancer patients, it is important that we maintain the momentum of progress that has been made in oncology in recent years. Cancer Research UK, CRT, and their outstanding academic partners, are a driving force in the improved understanding of cancer and its treatment. This research collaboration will build on our understanding of how cells repair DNA damage, help us identify possible points of therapeutic intervention, and lead us onto a pathway toward improve clinical outcomes for cancer patients.”

The multi-year agreement will work with molecular targets selected by CRT from Cancer Research UK’s portfolio of biological research in DDR. These targets will be validated to prove their therapeutic importance before progressing to the early stages of drug discovery in CRT’s Discovery Laboratories. CRT and Teva will then jointly undertake chemical lead generation activities. Under the terms of the agreement, CRT will receive research funding and be eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties on projects advancing through Teva’s drug pipeline.

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