Academic investigators funded by LLS will gain CRO expertise.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has facilitated four partnerships between academic researchers it funds and contract research organizations (CROs). The aim of these arrangements, which are part of LLS’ Academic Concierge Program, is to provide scientists with the tools necessary to move their research into preclinical and early clinical investigations.

Ari Melnick, M.D., at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, will receive CRO support through preclinical development including an IND application for a peptide inhibitor of the B-cell lymphoma 6 (BCL6) protein aimed at treating patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. LLS support will enable Dr. Melnick to begin a Phase I trial that has been conditionally approved for support through the NIH.

Christopher Cogle, M.D., located at the University of Florida, and his colleagues will lead a Phase I study for a drug developed by Oxigene. It will enroll patients with relapsed and refractory acute myelogenous leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes. LLS will provide funding for the trial, while OXiGENE will supply drug product and provide clinical-monitoring support.

Mark Frattini, M.D., Ph.D., located at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and his team, will receive CRO preclinical and Phase I trial support to test a kinase inhibitor in patients with acute leukemia. The compound reportedly inhibits the activity of the CDC7 protein, a key regulator of DNA replication.

James DeGregori, Ph.D., of the University of Colorado, and colleagues will receive funding to support a Phase I trial, conducted by Christopher Porter, M.D., in which a drug that has been used for indications outside of oncology, cyclosporin A, will be added in combination with dasatinib to treat a rare form of chronic myelogenous leukemia in patients who have become resistant to therapy.

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