Significant advances in cancer therapy are closely associated with the identification of drugs with novel mechanisms of action. Cytokinetics’ oncology programs focused on the discovery and development of small molecule therapeutics targeting cytoskeletal proteins. The cytoskeleton is involved in multiple biological processes with direct relevance to oncology, including mitosis, cell division, motility and cell adhesion. Our activities spanned several different approaches with each of these programs being driven by our unique focus on the genomics, biochemistry and cell biology of the cytoskeleton, and fueled by medicinal chemistry, pharmacology and novel technologies in high throughput screening. These highly collaborative efforts represent the forefront of this new and exciting drug discovery arena.
Cytokinetics’ cancer program is focused on mitotic kinesins, a family of motor proteins essential to cell division. Our prior research generated three potential anti-cancer drug candidates, ispinesib, SB-743921 and GSK-923295, which are novel anti-mitotic compounds. Ispinesib and SB-743921 are inhibitors of kinesin spindle protein and GSK-923295 is an inhibitor of centromere-associated protein E. Cytokinetics is seeking a partner for these three drug candidates.