Curadev Pharma, India and UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, USA announce a translational research partnership to identify small molecule drugs for the treatment of specific cancers.
Research into the rewiring of tumor cell metabolism coming out of the laboratories of Dr. Elizabeth Maher and Dr. Robert Bachoo with the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute at UT Southwestern has revealed the possible role of specific metabolites in promoting tumor survival. Studies on nutrient utilization in glioblastoma by the UT Southwestern researchers led to the identification of acetate utilizing enzyme Acyl CoA Synthetase-2 (ACSS2) as a potential target for cancer therapy. The benefits of blocking ACSS2 are likely to extend to other tumor types such as melanoma, breast and prostate cancer as well.
Following up on their published work, Curadev has been studying the role of acetate in hypoxia and has developed a proprietary portfolio of potent ACSS2 inhibitors that block the enzyme and increase the vulnerability of tumor cell lines to chemotherapy in hypoxic conditions. UT Southwestern will evaluate Curadev’s compounds in specialized murine models using patient derived xenograft models to identify clinical candidates for therapy in glioblastoma, melanoma and breast cancer. UT Southwestern and Curadev retain a keen interest in translating the research findings of Drs. Maher and Bachoo into clinically relevant small molecule therapies for their patients.