Eureka Alert

Boehringer Ingelheim and University of Dundee achieve milestone in collaboration aimed at developing novel protein degradation medicines Results published in Nature Chemical Biology showcase the use of the broadly applicable structure-based PROTAC design approach to discover highly potent and selective drug candidates The first PROTAC is made freely available via Boehringer Ingelheim’s open innovation portal, opnMe Structure-based PROTAC design promises to accelerate the development of therapies against currently intractable cancer drivers

Boehringer Ingelheim and the University of Dundee have extended their collaboration to develop new medicines that target and destroy key cancer causing proteins, building on the success of their ongoing alliance.

The collaboration brings together the expertise of Professor Alessio Ciulli, one of the pioneers in the field of Proteolysis targeting chimeras (PROTACs), based in the School of Life Sciences at Dundee, with Boehringer Ingelheim’s pharmaceutical expertise and commitment to bring innovative medicines to patients with cancer.

PROTACs represent a new class of drug candidates with the potential to tackle compelling cancer targets which have failed traditional medicinal chemistry approaches. They work by harnessing the cell’s natural disposal system (the ubiquitin-proteasome). Candidate disease-causing proteins are labelled as “expired” proteins which the proteasome then shreds.

“PROTACs are a disruptive


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