The $100 million endeavor and joint venture (JV) will explore novel modes of action to address food security issues associated with the control of crop pests and weeds. The JV leverages proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTACs), which exploit cellular defense mechanisms (e.g., ubiquitination) to degrade/recycle proteins in a targeted fashion. Accomplishing this goal requires three components: a ligand that binds ubiquitin E3 ligase, a ligand that binds to the protein target, and a linker component binding the two ligands. Arvinas' PROTAC chemistry reached human dose escalation in 2019 to treat specific instances of prostate and breast cancer. While undruggable targets lead the way in human health, applications for ag biotech are wider.
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