Babraham Institute

The Babraham Institute and Karus Therapeutics are collaborating to discover phosphatidylinositol-3-kinases (PI3K) inhibitors in the treatment of inflammatory diseases.

The research collaboration will focus on developing compounds that regulate PI3K family of enzymes, which play a vital role in immune cell function.

Financial terms of the deal have not been revealed.

One of the collaboration leads at the Babraham Institute, Dr Phillip Hawkins, said in vivo studies revealed that PI3K-p110ß and PI3K-p110d targeting is a successful way to treat rheumatoid arthritis in small animal models.

"By working with Karus, we gain unique access to scientific leadership in the field of PI3K inhibitor design and development," Hawkins said.

Under the deal, research will be carried out on PI3K signalling and the immune response, particularly on the role of the different isoforms of the PI3K catalytic subunit p110, PI3K-p110ß and PI3K-p110d, on neutrophil cell function.

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PI3Ks are recognised to have distinct roles in maintaining health and pathology, which forms the basis for the collaboration aiming at effective treatments for inflammatory diseases in addition to stimulating knowledge exchange partnerships.

The Babraham Institute director Professor Michael Wakelam said; "The understanding of the PI3K pathway brought about in particular by many years of BBSRC-supported fundamental research in the Stephens/Hawkins lab has been critical in informing a number of companies, including Karus, in their aim to develop novel therapeutics."

Image: The Babraham Institute and Karus Therapeutics will jointly explore PI3 Kinase Inhibitors in the treatment of Inflammatory diseases. Photo: Courtesy of Mammal4.