Licensing agreement will accelerate development of therapies to treat drug-resistant metastatic colorectal cancer
BALTIMORE, March 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ – GlycoMantra, a University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) start-up developing therapies for unmet medical needs in prostate cancer, NASH liver fibrosis and type 2 diabetes, has been granted exclusive rights worldwide on a UMB technology to advance the pipeline of therapeutics for the treatment of metastatic drug-resistant colorectal cancer (mCRC).
According to the American Society of Cancer Oncology, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer death for both men and women in the United States, totaling approximately 53,000 deaths annually. Drug resistance against CRC is a major challenge and mCRC remains a deadly disease. Although 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) – one of the current standard of care for patients with mCRC – exerts clinical benefit, all patients have developed drug resistance over time.
To combat drug resistance, GlycoMantra is developing a new combination therapy, using two natural bioingredients that are expected to treat mCRC and 5-FU resistant mCRC in multiple pathways: neoangiogenesis inhibition to reduce cancer stem cells (CSC ) and increased apoptosis (cell death). Aditi Banerjee, PhD, of the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics, is the lead inventor of the technology.
“The combination therapy we are pursuing should be a significant advance in the arsenal against mCRC. By exerting multiple and prolonged attacks on tumors, our goal would be to achieve longer survival of mCRC patients through the use of this approach,” said Hafiz Ahmed, PhD, Founder, President and CEO of GlycoMantra . “This licensing agreement with the University of Maryland at Baltimore will allow us to advance our very important research and development.”
So far, the efficacy of the drug combination has been demonstrated in a preclinical model. IND-enabling experiments such as toxicity and PK/PD are the next steps before human clinical trials begin.
Phil Robilotto, DO, MBA, associate vice president of UMB’s Office of Technology Transfer and director of UM Ventures in Baltimore, said, “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Dr. Ahmed, an experienced scientist who has successfully implement short and long term strategic strategies. R&D programs focused on cancer and metabolic diseases. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for his team and patients.
GlycoMantra is a biotech start-up that leads translational research in glycobiology and is interested in developing carbohydrate-based therapies for cancer, fibrosis and diabetes. The surfaces of animal cells are covered with carbohydrates and proteins. Normally, these components mediate interactions between two cells or between the cell and components of the extracellular matrix. 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 drugs that counteract these abnormal interactions. For more information about the company, including its drug development portfolio and pipeline, please visit www.glycomantra.com/
About University of Maryland, Baltimore and UM Ventures
The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) is a rapidly growing biomedical research center with 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-ups, and attracts industry leaders and entrepreneurs to the University’s thriving downtown campus. A large portfolio of technologies is available for licensing at www.umventures.org
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