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The University of Southampton

Curve Therapeutics

Curve has developed a powerful and proprietary discovery platform that is being used to identify a new generation of cancer drugs with significant clinical potential. A spin-out from the School of Chemistry, Curve’s core technology was established in more than a decade of research within the laboratory of Professor Ali Tavassoli.

Curve’s novel platform has broad potential in drug discovery, with several key advantages over existing methods:

The core technology that underpins Curve’s platform has been successfully employed by Prof. Tavassoli’s team to discover functional inhibitors of multiple protein-protein interactions. A number of these inhibitors have been used as the starting-point to develop drug-like small molecule leads. Amongst these leads are two inhibitors of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF), a key driver of cancer cells’ ability to adapt to low oxygen conditions inside solid tumours. These lead compounds, one a first-in-class inhibitor of HIF-1 and the other a unique dual inhibitor of HIF-1 and HIF-2, are being developed towards the clinic by Curve and have significant potential in the treatment of a variety of solid tumours.

Curve is using this platform to build a pipeline of cancer drugs against disease-relevant, but previously intractable, molecular targets. The company also aims to work in partnership with pharmaceutical companies to identify novel hits and leads against their priority disease targets.

Ali working in the lab

Curve Therapeutics interview

Professor Ali Tavassoli shares the research behind the company’s innovative approach and his experience of taking it into the commercial world.

Read the interview
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