ST. CHARLES, Mo. /PRNewswire/ — Sci-Engi-Medco Solutions Inc. (SEMCO), a private cancer drug discovery and development company that explores its proprietary small molecule anticancer agent technology, announced that it has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 contract from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) titled “Theranostics of Reduction of Cardiotoxicity Using Targeted Apoptosis Activation Technology.”
SEM had previously received a SBIR/Phase 1 in 2015 on a natural Human Beta Defensin (hBD-1) as an anti-tumor agent, and successfully completed the work in collaboration with Stanford University. In 2016, SEMCO was awarded from NCI/NIH an I-Corps™ grant designed to support training to overcome key obstacles along the path of innovation and commercialization. This is the third successive year that SEMCO has been funded by NIH, for a total greater than $600,000.
The Theranostics project will be lead by Dr. Raghu Pandurangi, MSc. Ed., Ph.D., founder and president of SEMCO; Dr. Bengt Bergstrom, MD, Ph.D., chief medical officer, and Dr. Jean-Luc Vanderheyden, consultant. For this grant, SEMCO will be working closely with researchers at Johns Hopkins University: Dr. Martin Pomper, MD, Ph.D., director, Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging and professor of Radiology and Radiological Science, and Dr. Kathleen Gabrielson, Ph.D., associate professor, departments of Molecular and Comparative Pathology and Environmental Health Sciences, School of Medicine, and Bloomberg School of Public Health.
“We are honored to be awarded this contract as it provides Sci-Engi-Medco Solutions an opportunity to explore a novel approach to cancer treatment by focusing on acute anti-tumor effect while potentially minimizing the chronic cardiotoxicity side effects associated with concurrent chemotherapy, such as doxorubicin. We chose to target Triple Negative Breast cancer (TNBC), an indication with potential for orphan drug designation, due to the limited options for TNBC patients,” said Dr. Pandurangi.
“This contract will provide the company funds to conduct the critical research. If successful, it could open evaluating the technology in clinical trial,” added Dr. Bergstrom.
“New drugs that enhance standard therapies by reducing resistance and preventing re-growth have the potential to improve clinical practice,” according to Prof. Pomper, CO-PI on this project. “The research will evaluate the feasibility of new combination therapy regimens in an animal model by determining simultaneously cell death efficacy and cardiotoxicity using one imaging system; this will be compared to echocardiography and TUNEL histology.”
This program is funded with federal funds from the National Institute of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract R43CA214223.
About Sci-Engi-Medco Solutions Inc.
Sci-Engi-Medco Solutions Inc. is focused on discovery and development of its proprietary small molecule drugs based on “A priori Activation of Apoptosis Pathway of Tumor” (AAAPT). AAAPT has been shown to sensitize both cancer stem cells and low-responsive resistant cells by activating cell death pathways and inhibiting survival pathways simultaneously. SEMCO Solutions have patented their technology through international PCT application.