Colorado State University Venture’s Center for Drug Discovery Provides Grants to Advance Drug Discoveries

The Colorado Center for Drug Discovery recently awarded grant funding for projects designed to advance the discovery and development of medications to treat cancer, infectious diseases and other illnesses.

In its second year, the organization awarded $206,541 total in funds to Colorado researchers. The grants will support programs at Colorado State University, UC-Denver, National Jewish Hospital, Denver University and Regis.

This year, the center funded the following research projects:

UC -Denver: Pharmacological inhibition of histone chaperone activity: This program focuses on developing compounds that block a process that is important for cancer cell growth. The research may lead to the creation of more effective cancer-fighting drugs.

UC-Denver: Non-steroidal inhibitors of progesterone receptors: Focuses on developing new medications that treat or prevent cancer by interfering with the progesterone receptor. Progesterone is a hormone that is important in reproduction and has also been shown to be important in the proliferation of certain tumors or types of cancer.

UC-Denver: Optimizing JAK/STAT inhibitors for primary prevention of epilepsy: About 50 million people have epilepsy, and a third of all epilepsy cases do not respond to medications currently available. This study looks at creating new drug compounds for their ability to treat and prevent epilepsy by a new mechanism of action.

National Jewish Hospital: Novel lipid antagonists of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV: RSV infects 98 percent of all children before they are 2 years old, and it is a major case of hospitalizations among United States children in the first year of their life. RSV also may impact adults with chronic lung diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and interstitial lung disease. It is difficult to treat individuals infected with RSV, and this project looks at newly discovered drug compounds that interfere with viral infections.

Denver University and Regis University: Lead optimization of small molecules for novel TB therapeutics through inhibition of MtFBA: Tuberculosis, or TB, is one of the most prevalent infectious in the world and it is a primary cause of death in developing countries. Globally, new strains of multi-drug-resistant TB are being discovered and causing new cases if illnesses. This study will identify drug compounds that fight the bacteria that cause TB by targeting an enzyme that is critical to the bacteria.

Colorado State University: Novel hybrid SNRIs: Compounds that treat mental health chemical imbalances such as anxiety or depression are among the best selling drugs in the nation. Despite the popularity, new and safer drugs classified as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, or SNRIs, are still in demand. This study will look at applying new chemistry methods developed at Colorado State University’s chemistry department that provides unprecedented access to new SNRI compounds.
The Colorado Center for Drug Discovery, called C2D2, is part of CSU Ventures. The center launched in early 2010 as part of the state’s Bioscience Discovery Evaluation Grant Program.

Since its inception, C2D2 has provided more than $540,000 towards drug discovery research programs and collaborated with researchers from all major research universities in Colorado. Previously the organization has provided $240,000 to support four drug discovery programs.