Novel differentiation therapy for AML

Period of Performance: 04/01/2008 - 09/30/2009

$128K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Invenio Therapeutics, Inc.
Cleveland, OH 44106
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is one of the most common forms of leukemia in adults and despite advances in treatment the 5 year survival is less than 20-50% in adults and significantly lower in the elderly. The remarkable success in treating one relatively uncommon subset of AML, acute promyelocytic leukemia, with all trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) illustrates the great promise for agents with greater efficacy and less toxicity. Utilizing ATRA, the presumed cure of 75-85% of patients is possible. ATRA's remarkable success stems from the fact that AML is a disease characterized by the arrest of differentiation of immature myeloid cells. ATRA overcomes this block in differentiation by forcing leukemic cells to mature. After leukemic cells undergo terminal differentiation, they lose their ability to proliferate. The aim of this phase I project is to demonstrate the promise of a novel nucleoside analogue with potent differentiation-inducing activity for the treatment of AML. This compound will be evaluated for differentiation activity using primary patient samples in both cell culture and bone marrow engraftment mouse xenograft experiments. In addition, this promising compound will be analyzed for potential toxicities, particularly myelotoxicity. As differentiation therapies are able to treat leukemia without the necessity for overt cytotoxicity, this work has the potential to lead to a more efficacious, less toxic, and better tolerated therapy for patients with AML. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: This project is highly relevant to public health as its main objective is to develop a novel therapy for patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia that is both efficacious and has low toxicity. As the current AML therapeutics have low efficacy and high toxicities, there is a significant need for new therapies for AML.