NEW YORK – MD Anderson Cancer Center and Blueprint Medicines on Wednesday announced a three-year research collaboration to explore the activity of Blueprint's investigational CDK2 inhibitor, BLU-222, across different tumor types.
Within the partnership, Blueprint will work with MD Anderson's Therapeutics Discovery division and use its Translational Research to Advance Therapeutics and Innovation in Oncology, or TRACTION, platform to design preclinical studies exploring BLU-222's activity in various cancer indications.
Blueprint and MD Anderson intend to home in on certain cancers that are most susceptible to CDK2 inhibition and identify biomarkers that predict which patients will respond to BLU-222. Already, Blueprint plans to begin a Phase I clinical trial next year of BLU-222 in patients with cancers that have aberrant cyclin E, or CCNE, a tumor growth driver associated with resistance to CDK4/6 inhibitors. BLU-222 has shown preclinical activity in CCNE-aberrant ovarian, breast, and gastric cancers.
For its part of the collaboration, Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Blueprint will provide funding and research compounds, and Houston-based MD Anderson is eligible for payments based on BLU-222's future development. The partners will jointly participate in designing the translational studies.
"As a critical regulator of the cell cycle, CDK2 is an exciting therapeutic target in oncology with broad potential across multiple patient populations and treatment settings," Timothy Heffernan, the head of oncology research in MD Anderson's Therapeutics Discovery division, said in a statement. "Through our collaboration with Blueprint Medicines, we aim to improve the scientific understanding of the role of CDK2 inhibition in cancer treatment and advance new therapeutic options for patients with difficult-to-treat tumors."