Anti-Cancer Program Originating from LDC Reaches Clinical Trials

First LDC-lead structure successfully progressed by Bayer Pharma AG into clinical study phase

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The Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) announces today that an innovative kinase inhibitor program licensed to Bayer Pharma AG, Germany (Bayer) in 2011, has been progressed to clinical trials. By 2012, Bayer had successfully advanced a lead compound from the program to the preclinical development stage. This fall, Bayer enrolled the first participant into a Phase I study to determine the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetic profile in patients with advanced cancer.


This is the first example of a program initiated and developed up to a lead structure stage by the LDC and its academic partners to progress into “First-in-Man” clinical trials. The licensed program included a lead structure from a chemical series of selective kinase inhibitors with potential for improving cancer treatment originally discovered by LDC. This lead structure was further optimized by Bayer scientists to provide a candidate suitable for clinical development.

“We are extremely pleased to see this program progressed by Bayer into Phase I clinical trials. This is a significant milestone which confirms our approach and encourages us further to commit all our energy into the development of our portfolio,” said Dr Bert Klebl, Managing Director & Chief Scientific Officer of LDC. “My thanks go to my dedicated colleagues from the LDC as well as to our academic collaboration partners. We have worked together very productively to rapidly transfer this novel approach from academic research to a lead structure with preclinical proof of concept. We are also grateful to the Bayer team for moving this program quickly forward from the lead structure into Phase I clinical testing.”

According to the partners’ agreement, the LDC receives an additional predefined payment on achievement of this milestone. The revenues will be shared with the LDC’s academic partners and the Max-Planck-Förderstiftung, which co-funded the early project development. Milestone payments to LDC may aggregate up to 82.5 million Euros in development milestones and up to 55 million Euros in sales milestones. In addition, LDC is eligible to receive royalty payments on net sales of products once marketed.


About the kinase inhibitor program

The licensed lead structure belongs to a series of novel and highly selective kinase inhibitors that have initially been developed by LDC in a project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Max-Planck-Förderstiftung. This program emerged from a collaboration between the LDC and research groups from the Westfälische Wilhelms University of Münster (Prof Dr Michael Meisterernst) and the Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg (Dr Gerhard Mittler).
Kinases are key components of biochemical signaling pathways that control cellular growth, metabolism and differentiation. They have therefore become prime targets for drug discovery and development in many diseases, especially in oncology.

About LDC

The Lead Discovery Center (LDC) was established in 2008 by the technology transfer organization Max Planck Innovation, as a novel approach to capitalize on the potential of excellent basic research for the discovery of new therapies for diseases with high medical need.
LDC takes on promising early-stage projects from academia and transforms them into innovative pharmaceutical leads that reach initial proof-of-concept in animals. In close collaboration with high-profile partners from academia and industry, LDC is building a strong and growing portfolio of small molecule leads with exceptional medical and commercial potential. LDC sustains a preferred partnership with the Max Planck Society and has formed alliances with AstraZeneca, Bayer and Merck Serono as well as leading academic drug discovery centers around the globe.
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