Navigation Links
Wistar receives $1.5 million Department of Defense grant to ready prostate drug for clinical use
Date:9/12/2013

To prepare a potential new prostate cancer drug, called Gamitrinib, for trial in humans, The Wistar Institute has received a $1.5 million grant from the US Department of Defense's Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program.

The three-year grant will cover the costs of developing the data necessary to allow the use of Gamitrinib in the clinic. The end goal is to be able to file an Investigational New Drug application with the US Food and Drug Administration, says the drug's inventor and the project's lead investigator, Dario C. Altieri, M.D.

"Years of research have brought us to the point where Gamitrinib is ready for prime time," said Altieri, Wistar's Chief Scientific Officer and director of Wistar's National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center. "These funds will help us bridge the gap between a promising discovery and a practical drug for metastatic prostate cancer."

Metastatic prostate cancer remains a devastating disease in need of new therapies, says Altieri. According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer will kill about 25,000 Americans each year. "While there have been new prostate cancer drugs in recent years, their success is often measured in prolonging the lives of patients with metastatic disease for weeks or months," Altieri said. "We are interested in adding years to patients' liveswe want cures."

The Altieri laboratory designed Gamitrinib to disable multiple functions of mitochondria in cancer cells, prompting these cells to die. Gamitrinib was also shown to enhance the activity of other targeted cancer therapies in mice. The project began as the Altieri lab explored the role of a molecule called HSP90 in cancers. In particular, a body of evidence suggested that HSP90 accumulated in large amounts in the mitochondria of cancer cells. Mitochondria are organellesstructures within a cellthat help create useful energy for the cell and keep them alive.

While anti-HSP90 drugs exist, and are currently in the clinic, they have limited activity in cancer patients. This may reflect their inability to inhibit HSP90 in mitochondria, which are protected by their own membrane. Using combinatorial chemistry, Altieri and his colleagues created a molecule that would both target HSP90 and accumulate in mitochondria.

"Gamitrinib is, essentially, a two-piece molecule, one part drives it into mitochondria and the other inhibits HSP90," said Altieri. "This became a promising drug concept, one that might apply to multiple forms of advanced cancer, because only cancer cells seem to exploit mitochondrial HSP90 in relevant amounts."

Gamitrinib exploits a critical weakness of cancer cells. While mitochondria control energy production, they also control the inherent self-destruct mechanism within cells, a process called programmed cell death or apoptosis. It is a mechanism that is relevant to many forms of metastatic cancer, and Altieri believes that, in time, the drug will be used to treat many cancers in addition to prostate cancer. Over years of study, the Altieri laboratory has demonstrated how Gamitrinib can prime cancer cell mitochondria for destruction in cell cultures and animal models for many advanced forms of cancer.

The Department of Defense grant will enable the Altieri laboratory to make the final leap between laboratory science and trials in human subjects. The funds will allow Wistar to contract with third-party research organizations to conduct the formulation, toxicology, and pharmacology studies to demonstrate the drug's effectiveness and safety in anticipation of human trials. The funds will also support the development of a suitable biomarkera biological signature that could be measured in patients to demonstrate the effectiveness of Gamitrinib-based therapy.

"In our studies we have shown the mechanism by which Gamitrinib works and potential drug combinations that will kill metastatic prostate cancer cells more effectively," Altieri said. "We are very excited and appreciative that the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program has chosen our project for funding."

"We have cured a lot of mice, but now we hope to provide new therapeutic options to patients with advanced prostate cancer" Altieri said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Greg Lester
glester@wistar.org
215-898-3934
The Wistar Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Wistar scientists decipher structure of NatA, an enzyme complex that modifies most human proteins
2. High folate gestational and post-weaning diets in Wistar rat offspring
3. It takes two to tangle: Wistar scientists further unravel telomere biology
4. UCSF receives $4.5M to study value of gene sequencing in newborns
5. Wayne State receives grant to reduce emissions of toxins by power plants into Great Lakes
6. International Rett Syndrome Foundation chief science officer receives prestigious military awards
7. SmartMove, Inc. receives $200,000 grant from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade
8. Wayne State receives NSF grant to develop plan for field-based water research center
9. VCU receives NIH grant to examine the biology of allergic disease
10. Carnegies Chris Field receives Max Planck Research Prize
11. Penn receives prestigious national award for breakthrough in gene therapy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/18/2017)... 18, 2017 MedNet Solutions , ... the entire spectrum of clinical research, is proud ... year for the organization in terms of corporate ... eClinical products and services. The company,s exceptional achievements ... of iMedNet ™ ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... , Jan. 12, 2017  Trovagene, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... DNA (ctDNA) technologies, today announced that it has signed ... and the Middle East ...  This milestone marks the first wave of international distribution ... urine and blood samples. The initial partners ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... , January 12, 2017 A new report by Allied ... that the global biometric technology market is expected to generate revenue of $10.72 billion ... Continue Reading ... Allied Market Research ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140911/647229) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/18/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... A leader in science-based, age-fighting ... Nerium International is proud to introduce its Age-Defying Night Cream, NeriumAD™ Formula, Age-Defying ... consumers across Hong Kong. The luxury skincare products contain innovative ingredients that fight ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... 17, 2017  If only one in every ... mutation-conferring resistance to chemotherapy, thousands of cancer cells ... focused on finding these mutations in ever-smaller subpopulations ... tumor DNA in blood — to guide treatment ... Unfortunately, however, detecting these genetic anomalies may ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 16, 2017 , ... Avomeen & ... The event will be held at Avomeen Analytical Services (4840 Venture Dr., Ann ... MichBio member organization. They provide an opportunity to interact with peers, make new connections ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... Calif. , Feb. 16, 2017  ArmaGen, ... developing groundbreaking therapies to treat severe neurological disorders, ... children treated with AGT-181, the company,s investigational therapy ... (also known as mucopolysaccharidosis type I, or MPS ... 2 proof-of-concept (POC) study, presented today at the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: