Copyright © 2013, The Oklahoma Publishing Company
Oklahoma City-based COARE Biotechnology Inc. has been awarded a $220,099 grant by the National Institutes of Health to develop a new treatment for pancreatic cancer.
COARE Biotechnology was founded in 2010 by Dr. Courtney Houchen to advance a promising new treatment for pancreatic cancer.
Houchen is a professor of medicine, the chief of digestive diseases and nutrition in the Department of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma, a member of the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center and chief medical adviser of the company.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the fourth-leading cause of U.S. cancer deaths.
Even after more than a decade of recent FDA-approved therapeutic regimens and improvements in medical care, about 95 percent of the nearly 50,000 Americans who were diagnosed with PDAC in 2012 likely will not be alive in 2017.
“Our primary goal is to defeat pancreatic cancer,” Houchen said. “This grant represents a critical initial milestone in the development of COARE’s innovative therapeutic approaches. It will also provide further validation that DCLK1, a tumor stem cell-related protein, is a key target for therapies to prevent or treat pancreatic cancer and perhaps other solid tumors.”
The NIH grant award was one of three Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) proposals and one federal contract proposal COARE Biotechnology has submitted with assistance of the OSCR program.
“SBIR funds potentially groundbreaking innovative projects,” said Steven Martinez, programs manager for the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology and co-manager of the Oklahoma SBIR Collaborative Resources program. “COARE’S solution will be the first to directly and selectively target tumor stem cells — an endeavor worthy of the SBIR mission.”