Advanced Cancer Therapeutics (ACT), a privately held company dedicated to bringing new anti-cancer therapies to market, announced today that it has been awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant in the amount of $158,000 by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support the development of a novel therapeutic agent for brain cancer.
The SBIR grant has been awarded to further characterize a potent inhibitor of glycolysis targeting 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-biphosphatase 3 (PFKFB3) in models of Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), the most common primary brain tumor. PFKFB3 is a cancer metabolism target identified as essential for cancer cell growth and licensed by ACT from the James Graham Brown Cancer Center (Brown Cancer Center) at the University of Louisville. High glucose consumption is observed in most cancers as sugar/glucose is a key fuel source in cancer cell growth and metastasis. PFKFB3 is the enzyme involved in the first irreversible step of glycolysis, and has been validated as a relevant cancer metabolism target. By inhibiting this enzyme, novel cancer therapeutics are able to block glucose uptake in cancer cells and therefore inhibit cancer cell proliferation and tumor growth.
“We are delighted to have been awarded this NIH grant which recognizes the potential significance of this novel inhibitor of a key molecular target in cancer metabolism,” said Randall B. Riggs, President & CEO of ACT. “SBIR grants are highly competitive and this grant provides ACT with the funding we need to further the development of this innovative anti-cancer therapeutic. This project seems to be the perfect case for SBIR funding because, in collaboration with Dr. Jason Chesney from the Brown Cancer Center, this work will explore the potential usefulness of an innovative treatment and could justify the advancement of such therapy into human clinical trials.”
Dr. Gilles Tapolsky, ACT’s Chief Scientific Officer, stated, “This grant will support ACT’s efforts to investigate the use of this novel therapeutic agent targeting PFKFB3, a cancer metabolism target commonly over-expressed in GBM. Even today, there are no satisfactory therapies for GBM so we remain hopeful about this novel therapy and the impact it could provide patients.”
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