CellCentric was co-founded with one of the pioneers of epigenetic research, Prof Azim Surani FRS CBE of the Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge.
Prof Surani discovered and described an epigenetic code, beyond DNA, that could be inherited and instruct cell fate.
When epigenetic regulation goes awry, disease results.
It quickly became clear that studying epigenetics could yield many unexplored targets for new drug discovery; histone deacetylases (HDACs), histone methyltransferases (HMTs) and beyond.
Best knowledge drives the identification of the best opportunities.
CellCentric built a network of research and evaluation relationships with over 25 leading academic research groups worldwide, to identify new opportunities for developing breakthrough treatments.
Through collaboration, over 50 epigenetic-related targets explored; multiple selected for early drug discovery.
CellCentric activity worked on multiple target validation and early medicinal chemistry programmes, including methyltransferases and deubiquitnases.
An argenine methyltransferase programme was licensed to Takeda Pharmaceuticals.
Epigenetic-related proteins are key in regulating hormone receptor pathways that drive certain cancers.
CellCentric’s research evolved to concentrate on targets that impact hormone receptors and the androgen receptor (AR) in particular. With the strong combination of biology, chemistry and potential clinical impact, a programme was prioritised for development that targets the bromodomain of the twin histone acetyltransferases p300/CBP. This ultimately lead to CCS1477.
CCS1477 is now in patients with castrate resistant prostate cancer; for the many patients resistant to current drugs.
CellCentric’s first-in-class p300/CBP inhibitor is being tested in patients under the leadership of Prof Johann de Bono, at The ICR, Royal Marsden Hospital. Prof de Bono is a pioneering and proven world-leading clinician in the development and adoption of novel treatments of the disease. The trial expands to further centres in the UK and US.
Beyond prostate cancer; p300/CBP strongly implicated in various haematological cancers.
Following the prostate cancer clinical programme, CCS1477 is being evaluated for multiple myeloma, acute myeloid leukaemia and certain lymphomas.