D&D Pharmatech Announces Sponsored Research Agreement with Yale University to Optimize Novel Strategies for the Treatment of Brain Cancer and Other Diseases of the Central Nervous System

VEGF-C shown to circumvent barriers in the brain’s lymphatic system; combination of VEGF-C and a checkpoint inhibitor promoted anti-tumor response and extended survival in preclinical model of glioblastoma

Second approach harnesses naturally occurring phenomenon to transiently open the blood-brain barrier

GYEONGGI-DO, South Korea & GAITHERSBURG, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–D&D Pharmatech, Inc. (D&D), a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on development and commercialization of revolutionary medicines, today announced it has entered into a sponsored research agreement with Yale University relating to optimization of two novel approaches that allow immune system cells and drug molecules to bypass the blood-brain barrier (BBB) for the treatment of brain cancer and other disorders. The BBB is a network of blood vessels and tissue consisting of closely spaced cells and helps keep harmful substances and many therapeutics from reaching the brain.

Akiko Iwasaki, Ph.D., professor of immunobiology and an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute will serve as the principal investigator for these projects.

“The bottleneck of effective treatment for brain cancer and other diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) is not the discovery of pharmacologically-active compounds, but the lack of a safe and effective method of delivery to the brain,” Seulki Lee, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of D&D Pharmatech. “The new approaches the team at Yale is exploring to bypass the BBB offer the potential to address some of our most challenging diseases.”

The first approach being developed by the Yale team leverages vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) to stimulate growth of lymphatic vessels in the brain. In a paper published in Nature, Dr. Iwasaki’s lab showed that administration of VEGF-C into the cerebrospinal fluid of mice with glioblastoma resulted in migration of immune system T cells into tumors, rapid clearance of the tumors and a long-lasting anti-tumor memory response. When combined with an immune system checkpoint inhibitor commonly used in immunotherapy, the VEGF-C treatment significantly extended survival of the mice.

The second approach addresses the shortcomings of pathways and drug delivery platforms currently being explored as solutions to overcome the BBB. Existing approaches are limited by the molecular weight of the therapeutic being delivered or they use unnatural disruption of the barrier which increases the risk of unwanted side effects.

“We are excited to partner with Dr. Iwasaki and her team at Yale to develop promising approaches to treat brain cancer and other debilitating CNS diseases for which there are no viable treatment options” said Dr. Lee. “D&D’s pipeline of therapeutic and diagnostic candidates represent breakthrough science from leading academic institutions and visionary researchers. We look forward to collaborating with the Iwasaki lab to build on their impressive results and expand our pipeline.”

About D&D Pharmatech

D&D Pharmatech is a clinical-stage global biotech company that funds the development of revolutionary medicines through disease-specific subsidiary companies founded and guided by top-tier medical research faculty. This corporate structure creates a unique opportunity to accelerate translation of cutting-edge research into lifesaving therapeutic products for patients. The company’s product pipeline focuses on a range of indications including neurodegenerative, fibrotic, and metabolic diseases. D&D Pharmatech is the parent company of U.S.-based Neuraly Inc., Theraly Fibrosis Inc., Precision Molecular Inc. and Valted Seq Inc., and P4 Microbiome Inc. For more information, please visit http://www.ddpharmatech.com/


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