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Guppy Tank: Targeting the “undruggable” proteome in cancer stem cells

July 29th, 2021 ~ 04:00pm - 05:00pm

Zoom; please register for details

Harvard's Office of Technology Development and LabCentral invite you to the latest event in the Guppy Tank series, where Harvard life-science innovators pitch their concepts to a panel of entrepreneurs and investors for constructive, in-depth feedback.

Please join us on Zoom on July 29 from 4 to 5 p.m. to learn from experts on startup formation and participate in giving audience feedback.

Register Here

Featured project:

Targeting the "undruggable" proteome in cancer stem cells

Presented by Christina Woo, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University

Drug-induced protein degradation is an emerging strategy to inactivate disease-relevant proteins. Molecular glue-type degraders are small molecules that induce a novel interaction between a substrate receptor of an E3 ubiquitin ligase and a target protein, leading to proteolysis of the target. This approach can be applied to important drug targets that lack typical binding pockets for inhibitors such as transcription factors.

Researchers in Christina Woo’s Harvard lab developed a library of molecular glue-type degraders, and with funding from the Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator, they characterized and selected two lead molecular glue-type compounds to advance further for the degradation of IKZF2 and CK1α, two novel drug targets involved in multiple diseases.

The team aims to develop these novel molecular glue compounds for indications in oncology (acute myeloid leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, cervical cancer, thyroid cancer, urothelial cancer). The potential application of novel therapeutic degraders to target the protein network may also extend to a variety of other human diseases.

A startup is emerging from the lab to develop these findings, and the degraders, further toward clinical application. The team is eager to hear constructive feedback, from panelists and the Guppy Tank audience, on the commercialization strategy.

Read about past Guppy Tank events:

https://otd.harvard.edu/news/potent-pitches/

https://otd.harvard.edu/news/envisioning-the-future-of-food-and-sleep/

Although we cannot meet in person this time, we look forward to joining you all again at LabCentral as soon as we're able!


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