‘Any target, every time’: how proximity-based therapeutics has redefined druggability

Friday 31 May 2024

Joint MRC PPU / CeTPD Seminar by Vice President, Research Head, Research Technologies Chair, R&D Postdoc Program Amgen, Inc.

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Friday 31 May 2024, 13:00 - 14:00
Medical Sciences Institute (MSI)

University of Dundee
Dow Street
Dundee DD1 5HL

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Hosts:  Gopal Sapkota and Alessio Ciulli

Venue: MSI Small Lecture Theatre, SLS


Induced proximity is a novel strategy for targeting the highly intractable proteins that are involved in many human diseases. By bringing together disease targets and biological effectors, such as enzymes, ubiquitin ligases, or transcription factors, proximity-based therapeutics can modulate the function, stability, or localization of the target proteins. This approach can overcome some of the limitations of conventional small molecules or biologics, such as poor selectivity, low potency, or unfavorable pharmacokinetics. My talk will cover the difficulties we encounter in finding new drugs and the potential of using proximity biology to address challenging drug targets. I will explain the principles of proximity-based treatments and showcase some examples, such as targeted protein or RNA degradation, as well as molecular glues that stabilize weak, biologically meaningful interactions. I'll show how Amgen's Induced Proximity Platform is using basic biological knowledge of targets and effectors along with adaptable chemistry platforms to progress the new generation of drug discovery programs.



Ryan Potts obtained his Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from UT Southwestern in 2007. In 2008 he was awarded the Sara and Frank McKnight junior faculty position at UT Southwestern Medical Center and appointed as Assistant Professor in the Departments of Physiology, Pharmacology, and Biochemistry in 2011. In 2016 his lab moved to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where he was an Associate Member in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology. In 2020, he moved to Amgen as Executive Director of Research and Head of the Induced Proximity Platform that is focused on empowering multi-specific, induced proximity therapeutic modalities through bold, creative science to expand the druggable genome and reimaging the future of drug discovery. In 2021, he took over leadership of Amgen’s Postdoctoral Fellows Program aimed at training the next generation of industry scientists. In recognition to his important contributions at Amgen, he was promoted to Vice President in 2023.

Event type Talk
Event category Research