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Mallinnuskuvassa RAS-proteiini sitoutuneena efektoriproteiinin kanssa ja yksittäisen KRAS-proteiinin dynaaminen rakenne.

UEF enters into research collaboration with SpringWorks Therapeutics to advance understanding of KRAS protein dynamics

Collaboration will leverage University of Eastern Finland’s leading computational molecular simulation technology to identify novel therapeutic approaches and patient selection strategies as part of SpringWorks’ commitment to developing MAPK pathway targeted therapies.

SpringWorks Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing life-changing medicines for patients with severe rare diseases and cancer, today announced a multi-year research collaboration agreement with the University of Eastern Finland to conduct computational biology work comprehensively investigating effector protein dynamics of a variety of KRAS mutations. The objectives of the collaboration will be to better understand the dynamics and biological consequences of KRAS-effector protein interactions with the goal of guiding patient selection strategies and exploring novel residues for future targeted therapy development. The research will be led by Drs. Antti Poso and Tatu Pantsar, from the School of Pharmacy and DrugTech and CANCER Research Communities, who are leaders in computational molecular dynamics simulation and KRAS protein conformations.

“Despite the growing body of knowledge related to RAS over the past several years, there are still some major gaps in our understanding, particularly how specific RAS mutations activate downstream pathways and how these oncogenic pathways differ across cancer types and tumour microenvironments,” said Professor Antti Poso.

“We are currently entering the era where computational simulations can aid to fill in these gaps in our knowledge that will ultimately lead to the benefit of patients,” adds Dr. Tatu Pantsar.

“We are enthusiastic to deploy our leading capabilities in molecular dynamics simulation and are happy to be collaborating with SpringWorks given their commitment to developing new therapies for patients with mutations in the MAPK pathway,” concludes Professor Poso.

“SpringWorks is developing a portfolio of targeted therapies for the treatment of patients with genetically defined tumours, including those with over-activation of the MAPK pathway due to RAS, RAF, and NF1 mutations,” said Saqib Islam, Chief Executive Officer of SpringWorks.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with leading scientists at the University of Eastern Finland, whose access to cutting-edge computational resources and expertise in KRAS-effector protein dynamics can help us to generate unique insights that can translate to enhanced patient selection strategies and novel therapeutic opportunities.”

University of Eastern Finland Contact:

Antti Poso, Professor, School of Pharmacy, +358 (40) 3552462, antti.poso (a) uef.fi

SpringWorks Contact:

Kim Diamond, Vice President, Communications and Investor Relations, (203) 561-1646, kdiamond (a) springworkstx.com

Image on top of page: Structures of the RAS–effector protein complex (first row) and the dynamic KRAS-protein monomer (second row). Image by Tatu Pantsar.