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Blueprint, Wellcome Trust Sanger, Mass General Collaborate on Identifying Cancer Targets

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Blueprint Medicines today announced a collaboration with Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center to identify new cancer targets.

The partnership will use Sanger Institute's and Mass General's extensive human cancer cell line panel and BluePrint's next-generation, highly selective kinase inhibitor compounds. Cambridge, Mass.-based Blueprint is developing the kinase inhibitors for treating genetic abnormalities.

Sanger Institute and Mass General have built a panel of more than 1,200 cancer cell lines for the screening of compounds and evaluation of their activity toward cancer targets. Using Blueprint's kinase inhibitors that address more than 60 targets, the partners hope to identify new targets that may form the basis of new programs, they said.

"Blueprint Medicines has built a novel kinase library from scratch that will allow us to interrogate the human kinome," Ultan McDermott, the principal investigator on this collaboration at Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, said in a statement. "Sanger Institute researchers will leverage our expertise in understanding the dependencies of the cancer cell lines utilizing Blueprint's compounds as unique tools to further interrogate our extensive cell panel."

"Our discovery process begins with a genomic blueprint of specific patient populations and the utilization of our proprietary genomics platform which rapidly identifies novel targets and potential combination partners," Blueprint President and CEO Chris Varma said. "We have now built a pioneering chemical library of novel compounds that covers the majority of the kinome, some of which to be used in this collaboration, with selectivity that far surpasses prior generations of kinase inhibitors."

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.