Misassigned (top) and corrected (bottom) structures of bioactive TIC10.
Tug Of War Over Promising Cancer Drug Candidate
A promising anticancer agent about to enter human clinical trials is on the hook because of a chemical structure error discovered by scientists at Scripps Research Institute California. The patented compound, known as TIC10 or ONC201, is owned by the biotech firm Oncoceutics. However, Scripps has applied for a patent on the corrected structure and has licensed it exclusively to another company, Sorrento Therapeutics.
The reanalysis and relicensing could lead to an unprecedented legal case—the first in which a structural reassignment puts in jeopardy a patent and clinical trials.
Lee Schalop, Oncoceutics’ chief business officer, tells C&EN that the chemical structure is not relevant to Oncoceutics’ underlying invention. Plans for the clinical trials of TIC10 are moving forward.