Drug discovery tool allows faster identification of drugs that increase efficacy of cancer treatments.
BOULDER, Colo., September 19, 2011 – SuviCa Inc. (Boulder, Colo.) and the University of Colorado recently completed an exclusive license agreement for a CU drug screening technology to identify novel therapies for cancer.
The patented drug discovery tool (developed by Tin Tin Su, a professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at CU-Boulder) uses a genetically modified fruit fly (Drosophila) model to screen for compounds effective against various types of cancer, either alone or in combination with existing therapies. This screening technique promises to identify new clinical candidates using a methodology that is both time efficient and cost-effective, and because it uses a whole-animal screening model, it can more easily eliminate drug candidates with undesired toxicity.
“SuviCa looks forward to advancing Dr. Su’s technology, in order to find better ways to treat cancer patients and to build a world-class business in the Front Range region,” said Judy Hemberger, SuviCa’s chairman and CEO.
“We are excited about the commercial possibilities for the drug screening technology developed by Dr. Su, which has already been used at CU to identify promising therapeutic candidates,” added Tom Smerdon, Director of Licensing and New Business Development at the CU Technology Transfer Office.
SuviCa recently received funding from Colorado's Bioscience Discovery Evaluation Grant Program, an initiative launched in 2007 by the State of Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade to provide early-stage matching “seed” grants to enable the development and commercial validation of promising technologies that are licensed from Colorado research institutions. SuviCa has also received a grant from the Internal Revenue Service through the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project Program aimed at small businesses. Current and future efforts will focus on identifying and optimizing additional lead compounds to enter into formal clinical testing.
SuviCa, Inc., an early-stage cancer drug discovery and development company, was co-founded by Tin Tin Su, Ph.D., who now serves as its CSO. Judith Hemberger, Ph.D., formerly co-founder and COO of Boulder-based Pharmion, joins the senior management team as Chairman and CEO. Working in close collaboration with scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado State University and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, SuviCa is advancing a promising discovery pipeline, based on several small molecules initially identified utilizing its proprietary screening technology and targeted to a distinct cellular process. SuviCa's vision is to discover and develop novel drugs utilized either as stand-alone therapies or to prevent tumor recurrence following treatment with a variety of approved anti-cancer therapies. www.suvica.com
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