Collaborations are an important component for any early stage company, particularly one like Cetya. Cetya has multiple potential therapeutic candidates in a variety of clinical indications. Cetya is seeking to collaborate with academic scientists or potential corporate partners in any of the therapeutic indications discussed elsewhere. If interested, please contact us.
Cetya has developed other collaborations with leading institutions to look at upregulation of fetal hemoglobin expression, the global gene expression modifications in specific tumor types focusing on up and down regulated pathways, and we are in early discussions with collaborators to look at the on and off rates for our analogs against specific HDAC isoforms.
Dr. James (Jay) Bradner at Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) has been a close collaborator of Dr. Robert Williams (Cetya Scientific Founder and Director) for many years and is co-PI on Dr. William’s RO1 grant related to the development of largazole analogs. Jay is a leading expert on HDAC biology, and his lab has performed the assessments of the inhibitory activity of these analogs against the panel of HDAC enzymes. Jay has recently been appointed as President, Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research.
Cetya is working with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) on the assessment of Cetya’s various analogs against the NCI60 tumor panel to look for particular sensitivities against the various tumor types as well as differential activity compared to marketed HDAC inhibitors such as vorinostat and romidepsin.
Dr. Susan Perrine is exploring the use of CT-101 in samples derived from sickle cell disease patients looking for up-regulation of fetal hemoglobin expression following drug exposure in the absence of significant interference in red cell maturation. Much research over the past few decades has shown that even small increases in the level of fetal hemoglobin can mitigate the severity of symptoms associated with sickle cell disease. Drug intervention that aims to increase expression levels of the fetal-globin chain, and thus fetal hemoglobin, is one potential therapeutic approach to reduce the underlying pathology and provide clinical benefit to these patients.
Dr. Richard Koya is a leading investigator exploring the use of engineered T-cells to kill tumor cells expressing the antigen against which the T-cells are directed. Immuno-oncology is an application that is of great interest in cancer therapeutics at present. Dr. Koya has found that CT-102 can up-regulate the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in tumor cells, making the tumor more visible to the immune system. As a result, the engineered T-cells are more effective in killing the tumor. Potentiation of immuno-oncology approaches represents an area of tremendous potential for Cetya.
Drs. Paul Bunn, Fred Hirsch and Christopher Rivard, in collaboration with Dr. Samir Witta of Golden, CO, are investigating the use of our HDAC inhibitors to treat various lung cancer cell lines derived from patient tumors selected for mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) or KRAS genes. Patients that have these genetic alterations in their tumors are particularly challenging to treat with existing anticancer agents. Initial results show good activity with CT-102 in these tumor lines. Further testing is underway to look at changes in gene expression patterns following exposure of these cell lines to each of the HDAC inhibitors provided by Cetya, followed by in vitro testing of the HDAC inhibitor plus a second anticancer agent selected on the basis of the gene expression data. This work is covered under a local grant from the Cancer Center at the University of Colorado.