WE HAVE A FOCUSED DISCOVERY & DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
OUR TARGETED APPROACH IS KEY TO OUR SUCCESS
known cancer targets, focusing on CDKs
the best small molecules to interact with those targets
new compounds for safety and efficacy
new compounds through global clinical trials in collaboration with partners
with partners through global sales and patient treatment
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Aucentra’s deep pipeline of novel anticancer drug candidates are delivering world-firsts.
Aucentra discovers and develops novel small molecule candidates for oncology targets, focusing on the kinase family. Over 500 known kinases are encoded in the human genome, which maintain cellular function by switching on pathways such as cell signalling and metabolism. The inhibition of kinases is a proven approach to addressing cancer resistance.
Cyclin Dependent Kinases (CDKs) are particularly important for cellular proliferation, due to their involvement in regulation of the cell cycle and transcription. CDKs are overly activated in more than 80% of all human cancer types, making them excellent targets for innovative therapeutics.
We are experts in drug discovery and development and in particular, kinase inhibitors for oncology. Our unique capabilities in target validation, drug design, medicinal chemistry, cancer biology and in vivo pharmacology enable us to rapidly develop novel inhibitor compounds that are highly potent and selective. We are able to demonstrate their safety and efficacy in our advanced in vivo and in vitro cancer models, and fast-track candidates to the clinic.
Our current pipeline has several drug molecules in preclinical and clinical development stages in therapeutic areas where we believe we have the best opportunity to deliver transformational medicines to patients.
MEET OUR R&D TEAM
Professor Shudong Wang
Chief Scientific Officer
Dr Mingfeng Yu
Dr Yi Long
Dr Aik Goh
Dr Laychiluh Mekonnen
Cancer Cell Biology and Animal Pharmacology
Dr Jimma Lenjisa
Mrs Alemwork Kebede
Mr Yuchao Yang
PhD Candidate in Medicinal Chemistry
Dr Sunita Basnet
Cell Biology and Biochemistry
Dr Muhammed Rahaman
Cancer Cell Biology and Animal Pharmacology
Dr Ramin Hassankhani
KEY RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS
Emadi, T. Teo, M.H. Rahaman and S. Wang (2020) CDK12: A potential therapeutic target in cancer, Drug Discovery Today, DOI: 10.1016/j.drudis.2020.09.035.
Diab, M. Yu, and S. Wang (2020) CDK7 Inhibitors in Cancer Therapy: The Sweet Smell of Success?, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 63, 14, 7458–7474.
McCalmont, K. Li, L. Jones, J. Toubia, S. C. Bray, D. A. Casolari, C. Mayoh, S. E. Samaraweera, I. D. Lewis, R. K. Prinjha, N. Smithers, S. Wang, R. B. Lock, and R. J. D’Andrea (2020) Efficacy of combined CDK9/BET inhibition in preclinical models of MLL-rearranged acute leukemia, Blood Advances, 2, 296-300.
Richter, T. Hensel, O. Schmidt, V. Saratov, K. von Heyking, F. Becker-Dettling, C. Prexler, H-Y. Yen, K. Steiger, S. Fulda, U. Dirksen, W. Weichert, S. Wang, S. Burdach & BW. Schäfer, (2020) Combined inhibition of epigenetic readers and transcription initiation targets the EWS-ETS transcriptional program in Ewing sarcoma, Cancers, 12 (2) pp. 1-17.
Tadesse, S, Anshabo, AT, Portman, N, Lim, E, Tilley, W, Caldon, CE, Wang, S (2019) Targeting CDK2 in cancer: challenges and opportunities for therapy, Drug Discovery Today.
Rahaman, MH, Lam, F, Zhong, L, Teo, T, Adams, J, Yu, M, Milne, RW, Pepper, C, Lokman, NA, Ricciardelli, C, Oehler, MK & Wang, S (2019) Targeting CDK9 for treatment of colorectal cancer, Molecular Oncology, vol.13, no. 10, pp. 2178-2193.
Rahaman, MH, Yu, Y, Zhong, L, Adams, J, Lam, F, Li, P, Noll, B, Milne, R, Peng, J & Wang, S (2019) CDKI-73: an orally bioavailable and highly efficacious CDK9 inhibitor against acute myeloid leukemia, Investigational New Drugs, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 625-635.
Tadesse, S, Caldon, E.C., Tilley, W., Wang, S. (2019) Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 2 Inhibitors in Cancer Therapy: An Update, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 62, no 9, pp. 4233-4251.
Philip, S, Kumarasiri, M, Teo, T, Yu, M & Wang, S (2018) Cyclin-dependent kinase 8: a new hope in targeted cancer therapy?, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 61, no. 12, pp. 5073-5092.
Tadesse, S, Bantie, L, Tomusange, K, Yu, M, Islam, S, Bykovska, N, Noll, B, Zhu, G, Li, P, Lam, F, Kumarasiri, M, Milne, R & Wang, S (2018) Discovery and pharmacological characterisation of a novel series of highly selective inhibitors of cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 as anticancer agents, British Journal of Pharmacology, vol. 175, no. 12, pp. 2399-2413.
Cao, S, Yu, Y, Chen, S, Lei, D, Wang, S, Pan, X & Peng, J (2017) Inhibition of CDK9 induces apoptosis and potentiates the effect of cisplatin in hypopharyngeal carcinoma cells, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, vol. 482, no. 4, pp. 536-541.
Kumarasiri, M, Teo, T, Yu, M, Philip, S, Basnet, SK, Albrecht, H, Sykes, MJ, Wang, P & Wang, S (2017) In search of novel CDK8 inhibitors by virtual screening, Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling, vol. 57, no. 3, pp. 413-416.
Tadesse, S, Zhu, G, Mekonnen, LB, Lenjisa, JL, Yu, M, Brown, MP & Wang, S (2017) A novel series of N-(pyridin-2-yl)-4-(thiazol-5-yl)pyrimidin-2-amines as highly potent CDK4/6 inhibitors, Future Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 9, no. 13, pp. 1495-1506.
Zeleke, S, Yu, M, Mekonnen, LB, Lam, F, Islam, S, Tomusange, K, Rahaman, MH, Noll, B, MC Basnet, S, Teo, T, Albrecht, H, Milne, R & Wang, S (2017) Highly potent, selective, and orally bioavailable 4-Thiazol-N-(pyridin-2-yl)pyrimidin-2-amine cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 inhibitors as anticancer drug candidates: design, synthesis, and evaluation, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 60, no. 5, pp. 1892-1915.
Rahaman, MH, Kumarasiri, M, Mekonnen, LB, Yu, M, Diab, S, Albrecht, H, Milne, RW & Wang, S (2016) Targeting CDK9: a promising therapeutic opportunity in prostate cancer, Endocrine-Related Cancer, vol. 23, no. 12, pp. T211-T226.