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RAS Collaborations

Among the RAS Initiative’s key objectives is to serve as a central hub to the RAS community as we work towards solving one of the most pernicious problems in cancer biology. To reach that goal, the Initiative has galvanized cooperative efforts across industry, government, academic, and other research institutions, leading to a deeper understanding of RAS biology and accelerating the pace of drug discovery.

Strategic Collaborations

Largescale collaborations with the following institutions are yielding new insights and advancing our understanding of RAS behavior and signaling.

Active

Department of Energy Pilot Program
The Department of Energy (DOE) maintains vast computational power as part of its own national missions. The DOE’s Molecular Level Pilot Program and the RAS Initiative are cooperating to apply the DOE’s unique capabilities to better model and understand how individual RAS molecules behave at the membrane in living cells. An agreement was recently signed to continue this longstanding collaboration for an additional five years.

Completed

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Pancreatic cancer is almost exclusively driven by mutations in RAS genes. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCan) advocates for patients and organizes fundraising efforts. PanCan coordinated with the RAS Initiative to fund postdoctoral awards and fellowships engaged in RAS research.

DARPA Big Mechanism Program
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) established the Big Mechanism program, with the aim of using machine learning to read scientific literature, extract information, and develop causal, explanatory relationships. The RAS Initiative cooperated with the Big Mechanism Program to try to understand and reveal new ways to look at the RAS signaling network.

CRADAs and Research Agreements

Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) and other research agreements with the following organizations are making substantive progress towards developing novel RAS-targeted therapeutics.

Contractor CRADAs (cCRADAs)

  • Beatson Institute, “Beatson Institute/FNLCR Development of RAS fragments”
  • Biogen-Idec, “Screening and Pilot Production of Recombinant Proteins for Early Discovery”
  • Daiichi-Sankyo, “KRAS-CRAF Protein-Protein Interaction Inhibitor Screen”
  • Eli Lilly and Company, “Characterize and compare wild type and oncogenic KRAS complexes to better understand the dynamics and mechanisms of oncogenic signaling”
  • Eli Lilly and Company, “Drug and tool compound discovery using phenotypic assays”
  • Eli Lilly and Company, “Dynamics of Ras complexes in plasma membranes”
  • Evotec (Sanofi), “Targeting the G13D Mutant of KRAS-Fragment Hit Identification and Hit-to-Lead Activities”
  • Genomic Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, “Screen two compound libraries to identify potential inhibitors of RAS signaling”
  • KyRas, “Kyras/FNLCR RAS‐RAF inhibitor characterization”
  • Northeastern University, “Structural Characterization of RAS/Calmodumin”
  • Pharma Arava, “Pharma Arava/FNLCR Screen for RAS Inhibitors”
  • Progenra, “Development of novel KRAS degraders for cancer therapy”
  • Sanofi, “Sanofi/FNLCR Screen for RAS Inhibitors”
  • Sanofi-Aventis, “Targeting KRAS interaction with RAF1 Kinase – Hit Identification and Hit-to-Lead Activities”
  • TheRas, Inc., “Development and characterization of KRAS targeting compounds”
  • TOSK, “TOSK/FNLCR Screens for RAS inhibitors”
  • University of Maryland Baltimore, “Characterization of KRAS-4b hypervariable region protein interactions and targeted small molecules using NMR”
  • University of California at San Francisco, “Development and modification of DOCK”
  • University of California at San Francisco, “Identification of small molecules that bind to KRAS4b-GDP with an extended Switch 1 domain”
  • University of California at San Francisco, “RAS Biology Reagent, Cell Line, and Assay Development and Validation”
  • Weizmann Institute, “Identification of small molecules that bind or modulate KRAS4b using in silico docking”

Material CRADAs (mCRADAs)

  • Infixion Bioscience, Inc., “Characterization of Novel NF1 Monoclonal Antibodies”
  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, “Exploiting RAS flexibility through room temperature crystallography and molecular docking for ligand discovery”

Research Agreements

  • Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, Inc. (CASIS), Purpose “To crystalize KRAS proteins in the micro-gravity environment of the International Space Station to reveal the structure of the tail and determine its interaction with a novel drug compound previously developed at the FNLCR in collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco, and TheRas”
  • National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), Purpose “To identify one or more tool compounds that modulate the interaction of mutant KRAS4b with RAF through direct binding, thus disrupting RAF activation”

Academic Collaborations

40 years of research into fundamental RAS biology has laid the foundation for recent advancements in the field. Academic collaborations with the following scientists are continuing this momentum in our efforts to understand and ultimately conquer this difficult oncogene

Active

  • Channing Der, University of North Carolina
  • Steve Sligar, University of Illinois
  • Pau Castel, New York University Grossman School of Medicine
  • Pablo Rodriguez-Viciana, University College London
  • Luca Fornelli, University of Oklahoma
  • Ronald Quinn, Griffith University
  • Corina Anastasaki, Washington University of St. Louis
  • Anne Carpenter, BROAD Institute

Completed

  • Cyril Benes, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Marco Biancucci, Northwestern University - Chicago
  • Arul Chinnaiyan, University of Michigan
  • Geoffrey Clark, University of Louisville
  • Sandra Gabelli, Johns Hopkins
  • Michael Gross, Washington University
  • Jay Groves, University of California - Berkeley
  • Paul Henderson, University of California – Davis
  • John Hunter, University of Texas – Southwestern
  • Esmaiel Jabbari, University of South Carolina
  • Hans Robert Kalbitzer, University of Regensburg – Germany
  • Perry Kennedy, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
  • Krishna Kota and Rajini Mudhasani, United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases
  • Nir London, Weizmann Institute
  • Carla Mattos, Northeastern University
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