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Technology Evaluation Consortium™ Evaluated a New Transition Regulating Technology for Drug Resistance in Cancer Therapy as INNOVATOR via Signature Square™ Program

The One Million Solutions in Health™ Technology Evaluation Consortium™ designated this Transition Regulating Technology for Drug Resistance in Cancer Therapy as Innovator technology via the Signature Square™ program. This novel science comes from Wayne State University’s CaCy Therapeutics and creates an in vitro and in vivo validated link between biomarker response and disease initiation and progression, where even a modest alteration in the activity exhibits a strong correlation with established human disease processes. The opportunity with this technology is to better understand and regulate drug resistance in cancer therapy.

Dr. Leon Carlock, Associate Professor, and Dr. Maria Cypher, Part-time Professor, the Principal Investigators and presenters, received a designation for their new technology: Transition Regulating Technology for Drug Resistance in Cancer Therapy as Innovator. The Signature Square program provides feedback to technology or service providers (commercial, academic, government, healthcare institutions, etc.) based on confidential reviews by Subject Matter Experts in the life sciences and health care sectors for new or established solutions.

The unexpected discovery that was the basis for the Wayne State University (WSU) Translation Regulated (TR) technology was the detection of protein synthesis from the TR expression vector under conditions that blocked cap-dependent translation. Since the vector sequence was designed to prevent reporter gene translation by cap-dependent ribosomes, the vector transcript was apparently being translated by a novel ribosome activity.

To characterize this unusual translation process, a library of specialized mammalian expression cassettes (>100 vectors) were constructed and used to generate a library of >2000 stably transformed cell lines from 5 major cancer subtypes (colon, breast, brain, kidney, and prostate). These vectors and cell lines were used to create cell-based assays that detected and measured conditionally activated translation. After standardizing and validating a variety of in vitro assay formats (treatments, timing, and reproducibility) in >150,000 replicant assays, a series of well-characterized drugs were used to define the SET ribosome molecular activities.

These studies established that exposure to non-lethal stress (such as transient hypoxia, heat shock, nutrient depletion or low dose radiotherapy/chemotherapy) was capable of blocking cap-dependent protein synthesis and produced a rapid transition (2-8hr after stress onset) to the synthesis of condition-specific recovery proteins (such as anti-apoptotic growth factors, heat shock proteins, and hypoxia regulatory proteins). We termed this stress-specific protein synthesis Selective Translation (SET) and have validated that TR SET activity is produced by a population of specialized ribosomes that are functionally and biochemically distinct from growth-dependent ribosomes. We term the conditionally activated ribosomes, the SET ribosome.

During characterization of the TR SET process and development of standard procedures, an innate cell-specific SET ribosome capacity was detected that could be propagated in stable cell lines. We termed this quantized cell-specific SET potential a TR Class and established that this graded translational response was a function of the total SET ribosome activity present in a cell (i.e., SET ribosome number per cell).

By our definition, Class 1 cells have minimal SET ribosome activity, whereas Class 4 cells show the highest activity. Validation studies in colon, breast and brain cancer TR Class cell line panels (containing multiple representatives of each TR Class) established a strong correlation between high TR SET activity and enhanced cell recovery, elevated viability, and drug resistance. The TR SET vectors, TR Class cell lines, and SET process were the inventions described in the initial patents.

“This new technology from CaCy Therapeutics has great value,” explains Dawn Van Dam, President and CEO of One Million Solutions in Health, “We believe they might have received a higher score had they presented to an oncology community, as their presentation was positioned as an oncology application”.

All technologies rated through the Signature Square process are given a designation in one of the four potential technology or service categories: Blockbuster, Novel, Upstart or Innovator. The rating for this Transition Regulating Technology for Drug Resistance in Cancer Therapy as Innovator was provided via the evaluation by Subject Matter Experts from around the world.

The Signature Square evaluation occurs on two dimensions: 1) Value Proposition to the Marketplace and 2) Market or Partner Readiness. A One Million Solutions in Health Signature Square evaluation uses a combination of quantitative research, numerical scoring and respondents’ comments, or qualitative feedback, as it reflects the offering’s differentiated position in the market. By focusing on end-user feedback, and applying a graphical treatment and a uniform set of evaluation criteria, a Signature Square helps research teams quickly ascertain how well a technology or service is positioned to provide value to the market and how ready it is to provide that value.

The Signature Square is an opportunity for technology or service providers to receive direct evaluations and feedback which can then be used to inform potential investors, end users and/or partners. It can also be utilized as a component towards understanding the technology or service and its potential to contribute to health care.

The Subject Matter Experts are members of the Technology Evaluation Consortium with specific expertise in the relevant area for each technology, including individuals from top biopharmaceutical, diagnostic, device, health data or healthcare organizations in the field, as relevant. One Million Solutions in Health aims to have a broad representation of feedback and advice from relevant Subject Matter Experts in each area. These experts evaluate the technology or service such that the feedback received is valid and valuable.

The positioning within the Signature Square is related to the aforementioned criteria, along with the point-in-time at which it has been evaluated. Consequently, a technology evaluated early could be considered an Innovator, but by addressing the feedback received in the process, could eventually be considered a Blockbuster.

For an opportunity to join the Technology Evaluation Consortium, and review the detailed information, video and evaluation for this technology: Transition Regulating Technology for Drug Resistance in Cancer Therapy as Innovator, please contact Dawn Van Dam at One Million Solutions in Health (dawn.vandam(at)


The goal of One Million Solutions in Health™ is to shape health care by sharing solutions and, importantly, to accelerate the discovery, development and delivery ... of innovative cures, treatments and preventative measures for patients around the world.

In this next year, we will be reviewing 1000's of new solutions and new scientific discoveries. By engaging scientists, entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, industry experts, health care professionals, and patients across various disciplines, and from around the world, we can utilize the power of the internet to disrupt things in a positive and transformative way to accelerate the movement of new solutions and scientific discoveries from the scientist to the patient.

We are on our way towards accelerating high-potential innovations, catalyzing investment and increasing awareness of, and support for, transformative ideas to improve health and save lives. By facilitating efforts to ensure organizations can Connect, Learn + Share, Innovate and Collaborate, our vision is to improve health care delivery, accelerate life sciences research and share patient and consumer-focused ideas and solutions.

As a not-for-profit, we welcome your participation and are thrilled to have you be a part of this transformative journey!


The Technology Evaluation Consortium™ from One Million Solutions in Health™ is dedicated to improving and accelerating life sciences R&D and health care outcomes. The Technology Evaluation Consortium brings together life sciences and/or health care companies and industry vendors or scientists, and other relevant partners (e.g., government and Universities), to evaluate and validate technologies or services in a collaborative environment.

The model empowers technology providers/scientists and industry end-users to collectively assess a number of solutions in a cost-effective manner, producing a depth and breadth of results that no company can achieve alone. Our mission is to triage and streamline new technology consideration for the industry and to be the place for the industry to conduct their evaluations and validations.


Dr. Leon Carlock, Ph.D. - Associate Professor, Wayne State University; Founder, CaCy Therapeutics, LLC. Dr. Carlock has an extensive background in academic research and technology discovery and development, highlighted by seven WSU invention disclosures, numerous US and PCT patent applications, and serving as a Co-Founder and CSO of GliaGen, LLC. Dr. Carlock is dedicated to the development and commercialization of novel TR SET Adjunct Drugs.

Dr. Maria Cypher, Ph.D. - Part-Time Faculty, Wayne State University; Founder, CaCy Therapeutics, LLC. Dr. Cypher has 15 years of experience and training in academic discovery research and technology commercialization. As an inventor of the TR technology, she has more than 7 years of experience in the Preclinical development of various TR-based technologies. As an Entrepreneur, Dr. Cypher has Co-Founded 2 start-up companies (GliaGen, LLC and CaCy Therapeutics, LLC).

Dawn Van Dam
President and CEO

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