University-Industry Engagement Week

City of Hope signs sponsored research deal with Ostentus Therapeutics to advance natural compounds for cancer treatment

By David Schwartz
Published: June 6th, 2023

City of Hope, one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the U.S., has entered into a new sponsored research agreement with Ostentus Therapeutics, Inc., the second such agreement between the pair. Under the new agreement, City of Hope will conduct preclinical research on OST compounds, which could be used as future therapies for leukemia and other cancers.

OST compounds are natural products, derived from plants native to tropical and subtropical America, which have been used in alternative and traditional medicine. City of Hope researchers will conduct rigorous pharmacologic and preliminary toxicology tests, characterizing the compounds individually and in combination to identify their mechanisms of action and anticancer activity.

The research will be led by Guido Marcucci, MD, director of City of Hope’s Gehr Family Center for Leukemia Research and chief of its Division of Leukemia Research. His work is expected to culminate in a first-in-human clinical trial.

According to the company, the anti-cancer activity of lead candidate OST-01 has now been demonstrated in leukemia, glioblastoma, lung, colorectal, triple negative breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers both in vitro and in vivo. These studies suggest OST-01 targets both leukemic and cancer stem cells by suppressing predominant upregulated “stemness” signaling. In mouse models, OST-01 has shown no toxic or adverse health effects.

“We have been pleased working with Ostentus on this exciting project and the potential application of the OST natural products (OST-01) to our personalized therapeutic approaches for cancer and leukemia patients,” Marcucci said.

Added Ostensus co-founder and director William Graff said the company “is honored to continue working with City of Hope and Dr. Marcucci on this exciting new phase in the journey of bringing OST proprietary compounds to the market as a potential anti-cancer therapy.”

Source: Business Wire

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