SBIR Phase II: Gene signature screening for Pancreatic Cancer Therapeutics from Sonoran Desert extracts
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project is to address the high lethality of pancreatic cancer. Screening has begun with Phase IB funding, of natural products from the Sonoran Desert that have produced other promising drug candidates, testing effects on human pancreatic cancer cells. The objective of Phase II is to develop a drug candidate that alters expression of selected pancreatic cancer-related genes and that kills pancreatic cancer cells that express those genes. The drug candidates will be developed using a personalized medicine approach. The gene expression profiles (or genomics patterns) for many different pancreatic cancer tumors will be matched to the effects on genomics produced by the drug. This personalized approach could translate directly to clinical trials to pre-select patients most likely to respond to the drug. The broader impacts of this research are first to reduce deaths due to pancreatic cancer, which ranked fourth among the leading causes of cancer death with 35,240 deaths in the US in 2009. The 5-year survival rate for patients with metastatic disease is 1.8%. The societal impact and commercial value of targeting such a lethal disease are very high. Further, the personalized medicine approach to drug development will impact many oncology projects. The idea of matching each patient's genomics patterns with each drug that targets that pattern will be critical. Each kind of cancer is not one disease, but a wide spectrum of accumulated genomics changes that have to be addressed individually.
Small Business Information at Submission:
PO Box 64326 Tucson, AZ 85728-0000
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