C-Path’s TRxA Announces $750,000 in Research Awards to Accelerate its First Drug Development Projects
TUCSON, Ariz., June 28, 2023 — Critical Path Institute’s (C-Path) Translational Therapeutics Accelerator (TRxA) announced today its first two research grants supporting academic scientists in advancing novel compounds through the drug development process. Launched in June 2022, TRxA is a global drug discovery and development program focused on supporting academic scientists in defining optimal strategies for advancing new, cutting-edge therapeutics, from the lab to patients.
Christopher Hulme, Ph.D. and William Montfort, Ph.D., both from the University of Arizona, in collaboration with Sourav Banerjee, Ph.D., from the University of Dundee, have received a TRxA award to establish a pleiotropic brain-penetrant small-molecule to impede glioblastoma (GBM), a rare and highly invasive form of brain cancer. “There is a severe lack of therapeutic options for GBM,” explained Hulme.
“We are proud to be among the first academic researchers to receive a TRxA award, so our work can ultimately translate into significant clinical impact.” Also receiving one of TRxA’s first awards are Yong-hui Jiang, M.D., Ph.D., from Yale School of Medicine and Jian Jin, Ph.D., from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, for a project focused on developing an epigenetic therapy for Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) by a novel bioavailable small molecule.
“PWS is a genetic childhood disorder currently with no specific therapeutic interventions,” shared Jiang. “TRxA funding and support will be instrumental in advancing our approach to address this area of high unmet medical need.”In addition to funding for drug development studies, TRxA’s unique nonprofit drug accelerator model provides subject matter expertise to principal investigators and their teams to help drive success and mitigate risks inherent to early-stage research for development of new therapeutics.
“For many reasons, the transition from discoveries in the academic environment to drugs entering the pipelines of pharmaceutical companies is often a place where significant opportunities for innovative therapies are lost — frequently referred to as the drug development ‘valley of death,’” explained TRxA Executive Director Maaike Everts, Ph.D. “Our collaborative approach is designed to support academic investigators bridge this ‘valley of death,’ with the shared goal of advancing novel therapeutics from the lab to clinical trials and, ultimately, commercialization and patient care.”
“As an organization that generates regulatory-endorsed solutions and methodologies to accelerate drug development, C-Path is proud to expand our global impact by leveraging the Institute’s proficiency in translational and regulatory science to support academic researchers developing innovative compounds that have the potential to bring new therapeutics to patients,” said C-Path Chief Executive Officer Daniel Jorgenson, M.D., MPH, MBA. “We are grateful to Tucson-based Research Corporation Technologies’ Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation for making TRxA possible.”
Christopher Hulme, Ph.D. is Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and co-Director of the Arizona Center for Drug Discovery in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the University of Arizona R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy
William Montfort, Ph.D. is Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, in the University of Arizona College of Science
Sourav Banerjee, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor at the School of Medicine at the University of Dundee
Yong-hui Jiang, M.D., Ph.D. is Chief of Medical Genetics at Yale School of Medicine
Jian Jin, Ph.D., is Professor and Director of the Center for Therapeutics Discovery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
About Critical Path Institute
Critical Path Institute (C-Path) is an independent, nonprofit organization established in 2005 as a public and private partnership. C-Path’s mission is to catalyze the development of new approaches that advance medical innovation and regulatory science, accelerating the path to a healthier world. An international leader in forming collaborations, C-Path has established numerous global consortia that currently include more than 1,600 scientists from government and regulatory agencies, academia, patient organizations, disease foundations, and hundreds of pharmaceutical and biotech companies. C-Path U.S. is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, C-Path Europe is headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands with additional staff in multiple other locations. For more information, visit c-path.org.