Cancer Research Technology Discovery Laboratories

Cambridge, United Kingdom

Cancer Research Technology Discovery Laboratories

Cambridge, United Kingdom
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Mardilovich K.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute | Baugh M.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute | Crighton D.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute | Kowalczyk D.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute | And 15 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2015

The actin and microtubule cytoskeletons are critically important for cancer cell proliferation, and drugs that target microtubules are widely-used cancer therapies. However, their utility is compromised by toxicities due to dose and exposure. To overcome these issues, we characterized how inhibition of the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton regulatory LIM kinases could be used in drug combinations to increase efficacy. A previously-described LIMK inhibitor (LIMKi) induced dose-dependent microtubule alterations that resulted in significant mitotic defects, and increased the cytotoxic potency of microtubule polymerization inhibitors. By combining LIMKi with 366 compounds from the GSK Published Kinase Inhibitor Set, effective combinations were identified with kinase inhibitors including EGFR, p38 and Raf. These findings encouraged a drug discovery effort that led to development of CRT0105446 and CRT0105950, which potently block LIMK1 and LIMK2 activity in vitro, and inhibit cofilin phosphorylation and increase aTubulin acetylation in cells. CRT0105446 and CRT0105950 were screened against 656 cancer cell lines, and rhabdomyosarcoma, neuroblastoma and kidney cancer cells were identified as significantly sensitive to both LIMK inhibitors. These large-scale screens have identified effective LIMK inhibitor drug combinations and sensitive cancer types. In addition, the LIMK inhibitory compounds CRT0105446 and CRT0105950 will enable further development of LIMK-targeted cancer therapy.


PubMed | Cancer Research UK Research Institute, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cancer Research Technology Discovery Laboratories and Bioscience Technology
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Oncotarget | Year: 2015

The actin and microtubule cytoskeletons are critically important for cancer cell proliferation, and drugs that target microtubules are widely-used cancer therapies. However, their utility is compromised by toxicities due to dose and exposure. To overcome these issues, we characterized how inhibition of the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton regulatory LIM kinases could be used in drug combinations to increase efficacy. A previously-described LIMK inhibitor (LIMKi) induced dose-dependent microtubule alterations that resulted in significant mitotic defects, and increased the cytotoxic potency of microtubule polymerization inhibitors. By combining LIMKi with 366 compounds from the GSK Published Kinase Inhibitor Set, effective combinations were identified with kinase inhibitors including EGFR, p38 and Raf. These findings encouraged a drug discovery effort that led to development of CRT0105446 and CRT0105950, which potently block LIMK1 and LIMK2 activity in vitro, and inhibit cofilin phosphorylation and increase Tubulin acetylation in cells. CRT0105446 and CRT0105950 were screened against 656 cancer cell lines, and rhabdomyosarcoma, neuroblastoma and kidney cancer cells were identified as significantly sensitive to both LIMK inhibitors. These large-scale screens have identified effective LIMK inhibitor drug combinations and sensitive cancer types. In addition, the LIMK inhibitory compounds CRT0105446 and CRT0105950 will enable further development of LIMK-targeted cancer therapy.


Rosenberg L.H.,Scripps Research Institute | Rosenberg L.H.,Cancer Research Technology Discovery Laboratories | Lafitte M.,Scripps Research Institute | Quereda V.,Scripps Research Institute | And 12 more authors.
Science Translational Medicine | Year: 2015

Identification of specific drivers of human cancer is required to instruct the development of targeted therapeutics. We demonstrate that CSNK1D is amplified and/or overexpressed in human breast tumors and that casein kinase 1d (CK1δ) is a vulnerability of human breast cancer subtypes overexpressing this kinase. Specifically, selective knockdown of CK1δ, or treatment with a highly selective and potent CK1δ inhibitor, triggers apoptosis of CK1δ-expressing breast tumor cells ex vivo, tumor regression in orthotopic models of triple-negative breast cancer, including patient-derived xenografts, and tumor growth inhibition in human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer models. We also show that Wnt/δ-catenin signaling is a hallmark of human tumors overexpressing CK1δ, that disabling CK1δ blocks nuclear accumulation of β-catenin and T cell factor transcriptional activity, and that constitutively active δ-catenin overrides the effects of inhibition or silencing of CK1δ. Thus, CK1δ inhibition represents a promising strategy for targeted treatment in human breast cancer with Wnt/δ-catenin involvement.


Scheipl S.,University College London | Scheipl S.,Medical University of Graz | Barnard M.,University College London | Barnard M.,Cancer Research Technology Discovery Laboratories | And 22 more authors.
Journal of Pathology | Year: 2016

Chordoma is a rare malignant bone tumour with a poor prognosis and limited therapeutic options. We undertook a focused compound screen (FCS) against 1097 compounds on three well-characterized chordoma cell lines; 154 compounds were selected from the single concentration screen (1 µm), based on their growth-inhibitory effect. Their half-maximal effective concentration (EC50) values were determined in chordoma cells and normal fibroblasts. Twenty-seven of these compounds displayed chordoma selective cell kill and 21/27 (78%) were found to be EGFR/ERBB family inhibitors. EGFR inhibitors in clinical development were then studied on an extended cell line panel of seven chordoma cell lines, four of which were sensitive to EGFR inhibition. Sapitinib (AstraZeneca) emerged as the lead compound, followed by gefitinib (AstraZeneca) and erlotinib (Roche/Genentech). The compounds were shown to induce apoptosis in the sensitive cell lines and suppressed phospho-EGFR and its downstream pathways in a dose-dependent manner. Analysis of substituent patterns suggested that EGFR-inhibitors with small aniline substituents in the 4-position of the quinazoline ring were more effective than inhibitors with large substituents in that position. Sapitinib showed significantly reduced tumour growth in two xenograft mouse models (U-CH1 xenograft and a patient-derived xenograft, SF8894). One of the resistant cell lines (U-CH2) was shown to express high levels of phospho-MET, a known bypass signalling pathway to EGFR. Neither amplifications (EGFR, ERBB2, MET) nor mutations in EGFR, ERBB2, ERBB4, PIK3CA, BRAF, NRAS, KRAS, PTEN, MET or other cancer gene hotspots were detected in the cell lines. Our findings are consistent with the reported (p-)EGFR expression in the majority of clinical samples, and provide evidence for exploring the efficacy of EGFR inhibitors in the treatment of patients with chordoma and studying possible resistance mechanisms to these compounds in vitro and in vivo. © 2016 The Authors. The Journal of Pathology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. © 2016 The Authors. The Journal of Pathology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland.


PubMed | Medical University of Graz, Cancer Research Technology Discovery Laboratories, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Glaxosmithkline and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The Journal of pathology | Year: 2016

Chordoma is a rare malignant bone tumour with a poor prognosis and limited therapeutic options. We undertook a focused compound screen (FCS) against 1097 compounds on three well-characterized chordoma cell lines; 154 compounds were selected from the single concentration screen (1 m), based on their growth-inhibitory effect. Their half-maximal effective concentration (EC50 ) values were determined in chordoma cells and normal fibroblasts. Twenty-seven of these compounds displayed chordoma selective cell kill and 21/27 (78%) were found to be EGFR/ERBB family inhibitors. EGFR inhibitors in clinical development were then studied on an extended cell line panel of seven chordoma cell lines, four of which were sensitive to EGFR inhibition. Sapitinib (AstraZeneca) emerged as the lead compound, followed by gefitinib (AstraZeneca) and erlotinib (Roche/Genentech). The compounds were shown to induce apoptosis in the sensitive cell lines and suppressed phospho-EGFR and its downstream pathways in a dose-dependent manner. Analysis of substituent patterns suggested that EGFR-inhibitors with small aniline substituents in the 4-position of the quinazoline ring were more effective than inhibitors with large substituents in that position. Sapitinib showed significantly reduced tumour growth in two xenograft mouse models (U-CH1 xenograft and a patient-derived xenograft, SF8894). One of the resistant cell lines (U-CH2) was shown to express high levels of phospho-MET, a known bypass signalling pathway to EGFR. Neither amplifications (EGFR, ERBB2, MET) nor mutations in EGFR, ERBB2, ERBB4, PIK3CA, BRAF, NRAS, KRAS, PTEN, MET or other cancer gene hotspots were detected in the cell lines. Our findings are consistent with the reported (p-)EGFR expression in the majority of clinical samples, and provide evidence for exploring the efficacy of EGFR inhibitors in the treatment of patients with chordoma and studying possible resistance mechanisms to these compounds in vitro and in vivo. 2016 The Authors. The Journal of Pathology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland.


Charles M.D.,Cancer Research Technology Discovery Laboratories | Brookfield J.L.,Cancer Research Technology Discovery Laboratories | Ekwuru T.C.,Cancer Research Technology Discovery Laboratories | Stockley M.,Cancer Research Technology Discovery Laboratories | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2015

As part of a program to develop a small molecule inhibitor of LIMK, a series of aminothiazole inhibitors were discovered by high throughput screening. Scaffold hopping and subsequent SAR directed development led to a series of low nanomolar inhibitors of LIMK1 and LIMK2 that also inhibited the direct biomarker p-cofilin in cells and inhibited the invasion of MDA MB-231-luc cells in a matrigel inverse invasion assay. © 2015 American Chemical Society.


Petrocchi A.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Leo E.,Cancer Research Technology Discovery Laboratories | Reyna N.J.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Hamilton M.M.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | And 14 more authors.
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters | Year: 2016

Structure based design of a novel class of aminopyrimidine MTH1 (MutT homolog 1) inhibitors is described. Optimization led to identification of IACS-4759 (compound 5), a sub-nanomolar inhibitor of MTH1 with excellent cell permeability and good metabolic stability in microsomes. This compound robustly inhibited MTH1 activity in cells and proved to be an excellent tool for interrogation of the utility of MTH1 inhibition in the context of oncology. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


Stock J.K.,Cancer Research Technology Discovery Laboratories | Jones N.P.,Cancer Research Technology Discovery Laboratories | Hammonds T.,Cancer Research Technology Discovery Laboratories | Roffey J.,Cancer Research Technology Discovery Laboratories | Dillon C.,Cancer Research Technology Discovery Laboratories
Journal of Biomolecular Screening | Year: 2015

Translating existing and emerging knowledge of cancer biology into effective novel therapies remains a great challenge in drug discovery. A firm understanding of the target biology, confidence in the supporting preclinical research, and access to diverse chemical matter is required to lower attrition rates and prosecute targets effectively. Understanding past successes and failures will aid in refining this process to deliver further therapeutic benefit to patients. In this review, we suggest that early oncology drug discovery should focus on selection and prosecution of cancer targets with strong disease biology rather than on more chemically "druggable" targets with only modest disease-linkage. This approach offers higher potential benefit but also increases the need for innovative and alternative approaches. These include using different methods to validate novel targets and identify chemical matter, as well as raising the standards and our interpretation of the scientific literature. The combination of skills required for this emphasizes the need for broader early collaborations between academia and industry. © 2015 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.


Hammonds T.,Cancer Research Technology Discovery Laboratories
Future Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2015

Industrial pharmaceutical companies (Pharma) share a common goal with academic scientists (Academia) in that they wish to create an environment in which patients are treated for diseases with ever more effective therapies. As disease biology has proven to be ever more complex and money and new drugs are becoming more elusive, Pharma and Academia are reaching toward each other with ever greater collaborative intent. There are a growing number of collaboration models that allow scientists to work together and profit from the creation of new drugs. Here I give a personal view of how we came to where we are, present an overview of a number of these models and look to the future in terms of running successful discovery alliances. © 2015 Future Science Ltd.


Saunders V.C.,Scripps Research Institute | Lafitte M.,Scripps Research Institute | Adrados I.,Scripps Research Institute | Quereda V.,Scripps Research Institute | And 5 more authors.
Molecular Pharmacology | Year: 2015

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most aggressive and common form of adult brain cancer. Current therapeutic strategies include surgical resection, followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Despite such aggressive multimodal therapy, prognosis remains poor, with a median patient survival of 14 months. A proper understanding of the molecular drivers responsible for GBM progression are therefore necessary to instruct the development of novel targeted agents and enable the design of effective treatment strategies. Activation of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase isoform 2 (JNK2) is reported in primary brain cancers, where it associates with the histologic grade and amplification of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). In this manuscript, we demonstrate an important role for JNK2 in the tumor promoting an invasive capacity of EGFR variant III, a constitutively active mutant form of the receptor commonly found in GBM. Expression of EGFR variant III induces transactivation of JNK2 in GBM cells, which is required for a tumorigenic phenotype in vivo. Furthermore, JNK2 expression and activity is required to promote increased cellular invasion through stimulation of a hepatocyte growth factor-c-Met signaling circuit, whereby secretion of this extracellular ligand activates the receptor tyrosine kinase in both a cell autonomous and nonautonomous manner. Collectively, these findings demonstrate the cooperative and parallel activation of multiple RTKs in GBM and suggest that the development of selective JNK2 inhibitors could be therapeutically beneficial either as single agents or in combination with inhibitors of EGFR and/or c-Met. Copyright © 2015 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

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