T-DM1: A Successful Case Study of Strategic R&D Partnerships

Drug promiscuity, a phenomenon where a single drug affects more than one cell population, has always proven to be a problem for drug makers today. While drug promiscuity is a desirable attribute in some diseases conferring multiple abnormalities, it is undesirable for certain diseases such as cancer. To put things into perspective, cancer cells are essentially our cells, at least they derived from our cells. They have the same genetic makeup but different epigenetic profiles. As such, it becomes difficult to target them without affecting our healthy cells. So if one uses a potent toxin against cancer, we are essentially putting our healthy cells in the line of fire.

For example, breast cancer patients taking Herceptin together with a toxic chemotherapy agent experience side effects such as hair loss and discolored nails. The New York Times reported that T-DM1, a drug developed from Herceptin linked to a chemotherapy agent, has shown to eliminate the most of the severe side effects. Such targeted cancer therapy is not only effective in treating cancer, but also eliminates most side effects. This success did not come easy as the linkers were tricky to develop. The linkers needed to keep the toxin attached to the antibody while in the bloodstream, and only release it inside the cancer cells.

The R&D collaboration between ImmunoGen and Roche's Genentech is one example of how a strategic R&D partnership can aid the drug discovery process. Want to find out more about how you can work together with other industry experts for better results?

Join the likes of Eisai, Astrazeneca  and other global industry leaders at the upcoming Drug Discovery World Asia 2013 and learn how to re-formulate your R&D strategies for increased speed to market and profitability!

As part of Asia's largest life science industry gathering, BioPharma Asia Convention 2013 will be held on18 – 21 March 2013at Marina Bay Sands, #Singapore.

To find out more about speaking opportunities available at this conference, contact Gladys Leongat gladys.leong@terrapinn.com or +65 6322 2705!

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