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A first-of-its-kind collaboration inside
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Longwood Medical Center. World-renowned scientists
at Dr. Nathanael Gray and Dr. Eric Fischer leading the new Center for
Protein Degradation. “It really is unprecedented in the sense that it
offers us the resources and the environment to bridge a gap between
basic research and innovation.” “I think the primary benefit here is being able
to do this on almost sort of a biotech scale of effort.” Dana-Farber teamed up
with investment management firm Deerfield which committed up to eighty
million dollars to the center. The goal is to advance targeted protein degrader targets. “What protein degradation is, we develop small molecules that not
try to block the activity of a protein but rather eliminate the protein from
itself.” The scientists will work to create a next-generation protein degrader platform, taking innovation to projects so that ideas born in the lab
might become drugs that can benefit the patients who need them most. “It’s a
convergence of threads of research that have been going on for a while but in my
mind what makes it so exciting is that we’re now able to degrade targets that
we really didn’t think could be drugged before. So there’s going to be clinical
studies going on already in 2019 and the center certainly is only going to
accelerate that.” The Center for Protein Degradation will seek out collaborations
from both the Dana-Farber and the Harvard Medical School communities. For
Dana-Farber news, I’m Victoria Warren.

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