Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a blood cancer with very poor prognosis, especially for patients older than 60 years of age. This is in part because of the severe toxicity of medicines available. Less harmful medicines are needed to better treat older patients. Therapure Biopharma Inc. has chemically linked the standard toxic chemotherapy medicine called cytarabine to the blood protein hemoglobin to make a potentially safer and more effective medicine to treat AML. In collaboration with the University Of Waterloo School Of Pharmacy, Therapure Biopharma Inc.
Current treatments for pain and inflammation have substantial side effects which limit their use and thus clinical effectiveness. Panag, is a Halifax based drug company which focuses on development of novel therapeutic treatments which can be applied topically to alleviate both pain and inflammation. These compounds are synthetic derivatives of plant-based molecules from the Cannabis sativa plant which have proven to be advantageous in treating pain and inflammation in animal models.
Drug use in older persons is a major public health concern. Even though therapeutic drugs are beneficial for patients’ health in terms of survival or quality of life, patients aged >65 years have a greater risk of developing drug-related complications.
Obesity and diabetes are a significant global burden and there is an immediate need for novel treatments and management strategies. Our lab has shown that an avocadoderived lipid is a potent inhibitor of fatty acid oxidation (i.e., the cellular breakdown of fat for energy) which reduces mouse weight gain without toxicity. Inhibition of fatty acid oxidation for the management and treatment of obesity and diabetes is an established therapeutic strategy. The objectives of this project are two-fold.
Bones undergo a renewal process by replenishing calcium mineral through a cellular process known as remodeling. Usually, it happens in a balanced manner, but in many bone diseases, the remodeling process is increased with regional bone metabolism. Bisphosphonate (BP) drugs selectivity and strongly bind to bone mineral and become incorporated at active sites of bone turnover in an increased amount.
The proposed project, performed with the company Immune Biosolutions, aims to develop superior antibodies for biological targets of interest for the treatment of colorectal cancer. Specifically, these targets are a class of proteins expressed on cell surface, which are notoriously difficult for the development of antibodies. The method involves making molecules look like the biological target, in order to elicit antibody responses which are more specific to the targets.
Cancer cells are known for their unique capacity to survive and grow in a low oxygen tension environment in the middle of a poorly vascularized solid tumor. This adaptation, which is central to the tumorigenesis process, is mediated by precise cellular mechanisms allowing the regulation of gene expression. Thus, the development of small molecules to modulate the activity of transcription factors is of great therapeutic interest. In order to develop such molecules, we plan to finance, with the help of IntelliSyn Pharma and Mitacs, one M.Sc. student.
In the CNS the majority of excitatory synapses are formed onto specialized structures known as dendritic spines which can undergo shape changes in the time frame of minutes to days. This inherent structural plasticity of dendritic spines even lasts into adulthood. It is still unclear why certain spines are more likely to be maintained, to provide a physical substrate for long-term information storage, while others are more structurally plastic. We have recently discovered a novel process by which mature dendritic spines can be maintained.
Many diseases, including cancer, afflict the intestines. This is in large part due to the continuous renewal of epithelial cells, and the exposure to toxins from the diet and to infectious agents. Inflammation also contributes to the genesis of cancer, as illustrated by the link between chronic and ulcerative colitis and colorectal cancer (CRC). Caspases, a family of cysteinyl peptidases, play a crucial role in both inflammation and cancer avoidance via cytokine productions and apoptosis (cell death), respectively.
Opioids are the most efficacious analgesics known, and elective in the treatment of acute severe pain. In contrast, their use in the management of chronic pain syndromes remains limited, requiring a compromise between preserving analgesic efficacy and controlling side effects such as respiratory depression, somnolence, nausea, constipation as well as abuse, dependence and analgesic tolerance.