SHEPHERD Therapeutics Announces Research Collaboration with National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) in Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC)
BOSTON, Feb. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- SHEPHERD Therapeutics, a company dedicated to catalyzing lifesaving treatments for rare cancer patients, today announced a collaboration with the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The research collaboration will leverage NCATS and SHEPHERD's collective technology and scientific capabilities, including SHEPHERD's DELVE computational platform, to identify drugs and drug combinations from NCATS' annotated compound libraries that may have the potential to significantly improve treatment options and outcomes for patients with adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC), a rare head and neck cancer.
ACC is a rare secretory gland cancer that affects approximately 1,200 Americans each year. There is an urgent need for therapies for ACC: Currently, no effective therapies currently exist, and the tumors are resistant to conventional chemotherapy. The standard of care is surgical resection and radiation therapy. While complete resection can be curative, it is difficult to achieve, and there is a high rate of recurrence with metastasis to the lungs, bone, and liver. Median survival is approximately 21 months once metastasis occurs. Discovering new uses for U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs, or drug repurposing, offers a rapid path to potential therapeutic options, and NCATS is developing approaches to advance this strategy across diseases.
As part of the organizations' three-year collaboration, NCATS will conduct high throughput screening and other laboratory and research-based activities, including but not limited to those conducted on an ACC cell line. SHEPHERD will use its AI-enabled DELVE drug positioning and development platform, laboratory resources, and other research-based assays to inform and build upon NCATS' screening and laboratory activities.
"Many people with rare cancers are given few options, as a result of a lack of funding, research, and data," said Katherine Arline, Chief Strategy of Officer of SHEPHERD and investigator on the project. "We are fueled at SHEPHERD by the belief that having a rare cancer diagnosis shouldn't mean that you lack a standard of care or have fewer treatment options than patients with common cancer diagnoses."
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SOURCE SHEPHERD Therapeutics