GULCCDD Key Accomplishments

Combining talent with the unique therapeutic area expertise of the CADD, SPR, and CCB cores, we have maximized our rich collaborative and contractual research experience to advance scores of new small molecules into advanced preclinical/clinical trials and marketed cancer drugs.

Our success stories include several home-grown unmet needs oncology therapeutics and “undruggable” targets. Classic examples are small molecules targeting EWS-FLI1 (undruggable target), now in Phase 2 clinical trial for Ewing sarcoma patients. Other examples include protein interface inhibitors targeting CDH11 for PDAC, now in advanced preclinical studies; the RACK1 small molecules for multiple diseases (including metastatic cancers) and entering agricultural field trials for crop protection; Sonic hedgehog/wnt signaling inhibitors targeting Cereblon for colorectal and brain cancer.

These molecular assets are funded by SBIR and NSF I-Corps and licensed to our homegrown start-ups: Oncternal Therapeutics Inc, Diviner Therapeutics LLC, Shuttle Pharmaceuticals LLC, CropGenics LLC, and StemSynergy Therapeutics, among others.

Computer-Aided Drug Design

  • Discovered compounds for several target protein classes and diseases
  • Discovered small molecules advanced to the FDA IND, enabling studies to the clinical trial and uniquely to the agricultural field trial for crop growth and protection.
  • Discovery of first-in-class Cadherin 11 inhibitor, which is in an advanced preclinical trial.
  • Discovery of first-in-class RACK1 inhibitor for Cancer, Viruses, and Crop Protection.
  • Developed several AI and Computational technologies
  • Completed >75 collaborative and contractual projects for local, national, and international, government, universities, and industries.  

Biophysical Surface Plasmon Resonance

  • Discovery of first-in-class EWS-FLI1 inhibitor, which advanced to Phase 2 clinical trial.
  • Discovery of first-in-class small molecule inhibitors of CD99 and Ezrin.
  • 53 peer-reviewed papers and more than 25 grants supported by the core facility.

Cancer Cell Biology

  • Developed small molecules for Cadherin 11, Wnt, and Epigenetics modulators for Cancer
  • Epigenetic small molecule inhibitors for the treatment of brain cancer.
  • Small molecule combinations using single-cell RNA-sequencing technologies
  • Cancer cell-brain organoids for identifying safe and effective small molecules for treating cancer
  • Completed a 3-year collaboration with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on “3D bioprinting of Instrumented tumors”
  • Completed several standing contracts, including one in which we provided the NIH with EBV transformed lymphocytes and store and distribute them.