Pharmaceutical Startup Will Test Novel Drug Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer

InteliSpark client, Avenzoar Pharmaceuticals, wins a research grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a new drug for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Around 80% of the estimated 56,770 people that will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2019 will die within in a year.  Only 9% of patients survive past five years, making pancreatic cancer the fourth leading cause of cancer death in men and women. Chemotherapy, the standard treatment for pancreatic cancer, is costly and only delays death by an average of 8.5 months.  

To meet this critical need for improved treatment methods, the pharmaceutical startup, Avenzoar, has developed a new chemical compound that may inhibit metastasis and chemo-resistance signaling pathways. The low toxicity of the chemical compound and the potential to reverse immunodeficiency disorders caused by cancer could significantly improve prognosis of the disease.

Dr. Mouad Edderkaoui, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Avenzoar, will lead phase I of this Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) project to develop dosage levels and test the drug in combination with standard treatments in animal studies, to eventually inform the design of clinical trials.