The licensing agreement will accelerate the development of therapeutics to treat drug-resistant metastatic colorectal cancer
BALTIMORE, March 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — GlycoMantra, a University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) startup company developing therapeutics for unmet medical needs in prostate cancer, NASH liver fibrosis, and type 2 diabetes, has been granted worldwide, exclusive rights to a UMB technology to advance the company’s pipeline of therapeutics for treating drug-resistant metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).
According to the American Society of Cancer Oncology, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer death among men and women in the U.S., totaling about 53,000 deaths per year. Drug resistance to CRC is a primary challenge and mCRC remains a lethal disease. Although 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)—one of the current standards of care for patients with mCRC—exerts clinical benefit, all patients have acquired resistance to the drug over time.
To address drug resistance, GlycoMantra is developing a novel combination therapy, using two natural bioingredients that are expected to treat mCRC and 5-FU-resistant mCRC in multiple pathways: inhibition of the neoangiogenesis to reduce cancer stem cells (CSCs) and increasing apoptosis (cell death). Aditi Banerjee, PhD, of the University of Maryland School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, is the lead inventor of the technology.
“The combination therapy we’re pursuing is anticipated to be a significant advancement in the arsenal against mCRC. By exerting multiple and prolonged attack on tumors, our goal would be to achieve longer survival of mCRC patients with use of this approach,” said Hafiz Ahmed, PhD, Founder, President, and CEO of GlycoMantra. “This licensing agreement with the University of Maryland, Baltimore will allow us to advance our very important research and development.”
So far, the efficacy of the combination drug has been demonstrated in a preclinical model. IND-enabling experiments such as toxicity and PK/PD are the next steps prior to beginning human clinical trials.
Phil Robilotto, DO, MBA, associate vice president of UMB’s Office of Technology Transfer and director of UM Ventures at Baltimore said, “We are thrilled to collaborate with Dr. Ahmed, an experienced scientist who has successfully implemented both short and long-term strategic R&D programs focused on cancer and metabolic disease. I’m excited to see what the future holds for his team and for patients.”
GlycoMantra is a startup biotechnology firm that is leading translational glycobiology research and interested in the development of carbohydrate-based therapeutics of cancer, fibrosis, and diabetes. Animal cell surfaces are covered with carbohydrates and proteins. Normally these components mediate interactions between two cells or between the cell and the extra-cellular matrix components. However, abnormal protein-carbohydrate interactions and associated cell signaling can lead to many diseases such as cancer, fibrosis, and diabetes. The company’s goal is to develop high affinity carbohydrate-based drugs that counteract these abnormal interactions. For more information on the company, including its portfolio and drug development pipeline, please visit www.glycomantra.com/
About the University of Maryland, Baltimore and UM Ventures
The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) is a fast-growing biomedical research center with nationally ranked professional schools of dentistry, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work, and an interdisciplinary graduate school. UM Ventures commercializes UMB’s breakthrough therapies, diagnostics and devices, fuels the creation of innovative start-up companies, and attracts industry leaders and entrepreneurs to the University’s thriving downtown campus. A wide portfolio of technologies is available for licensing at www.umventures.org
SOURCE University of Maryland Ventures