Irish firm inks deal with Spanish National Cancer Research Centre to develop cancer drugs

5 Jun 2013

Dr Michael O'Neill, co-founder and R&D director, and Darren Cunningham, co-founder and CEO, Inflection Biosciences

Irish drug development company Inflection Biosciences has entered into a licence agreement with the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) for the worldwide rights to develop and commercialise several kinase inhibitors for the treatment of cancer.

Set up in 2012, Dublin-headquartered Inflection Biosciences is focused on the development of targeted small molecule treatments for cancer. The company was co-founded by Darren Cunningham, Dr Michael O’Neill and John Scanlan.

As well as the licence agreement with the CNIO, Inflection Biosciences has just closed an initial financing round worth €450,000 from a private investor and Enterprise Ireland. The company is set to use the funds to advance its development pipeline.

Following a two-year review of over 150 cancer development programmes from research institutes around the world, Inflection Biosciences’ licensing agreement with the CNIO means that the company has secured the worldwide rights to develop and commercialise cancer therapeutics that are currently in late preclinical stages of development.

The goal is to develop and commercialise kinase inhibitors to treat cancer.

Kinase inhibitors are a new class of targeted therapy that interfere with specific cell signalling pathways and allow target-specific therapy for selected cancers.

Both Inflection Biosciences and CNIO will carry out final preclinical studies in the coming months before the Irish company nominates the lead candidate drugs that will be developed.

Inflection Biosciences is then aiming to team up with a larger pharmaceutical company over the next three to five years to support late-stage clinical development and commercialisation.

“We are delighted to have secured assets in late preclinical stages of development of this quality and potential and from an organisation recognised internationally for the quality of its cancer research and its drug discovery programmes,” said Dr Michael O’Neill, co-founder and director of R&D at Inflection Biosciences.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic