MD Anderson receives $150 million grant from Khalifa Foundation for cancer research

The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Charity Foundation is granting $150 million to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to support genetic-analysis based research, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

HDAC enzymes have emerged as promising targets in colorectal cancer over the last decade, since they have proven to be important for colon cancer cell survival. Based on both in vitro and in vivo testing it has been shown that especially the frequently observed high expression of HDAC-2 in colon cancer cells is associated with their enhanced survival capability. Resminostat, as a pan-HDAC inhibitor, reduces the activity of a variety of HDAC enzymes, including HDAC-2. Consequently, resminostat yielded promising results in preclinical models of colorectal cancer, as it also sensitized colorectal cancer cells to standard chemotherapeutics.

‘By evaluating the efficacy of resminostat in patients carrying KRAS-mutant tumours, we hope to open a second-line treatment option for this colorectal cancer patient population where there is an increased unmet medical need since they cannot be treated with current EGFR targeting agents,’ stated Bernd Hentsch, Chief Development Officer. ‘With the commencement of the SHORE study we have delivered on our clinical development strategy for resminostat, which is assessing its efficacy in mono- and combination therapy in hematological and solid tumours. We are very excited about 2011, as we expect Phase II results for both the hepatocellular cancer SHELTER study and the Hodgkin’s lymphoma SAPHIRE study.’

Source 4SC AG

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