The Next Big Thing In Drug Development May Be The Ubiquitin Pathway
This article was originally published in Pharmaceutical Approvals Monthly
Velcade, Millennium’s successful first-in-class cancer therapy, is held up as a poster drug for manipulating the ubiquitin system to attack disease. Yet it taps only the most rudimentary process of an elegant and little understood cellular mechanism that some are betting will be the next big source of innovation in drug development.
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The recently uncovered biotech a la Third Rock and The Column Group is focused on the ubiquitin protease pathway and its applications in oncology.
The big biotech signed an expansive collaboration with the drug discovery company spanning multiple targets and numerous therapeutic areas. Celgene agreed to pay $225 million upfront and could eventually buy the company.
Forma Therapeutics has already convinced several big industry partners its discovery engine will yield oncology candidates in emerging areas of research. Now it wants to find academic groups to help feed its engine, all while the resurgent biotech IPO market might make its unusual structure superfluous.