September 23, 2021 – Dr. Vincent Njar, IBBR Fellow and Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine, co-founded Isoprene Pharmaceuticals, Inc. an early stage small molecule oncology company. National Institute of Health’s (NIH) National Cancer Institute (NCI) has recently awarded Isoprene with a two-year $2M Small Business Innovation Research Direct-to-Phase II grant which will support ongoing advanced pre-clinical studies in their development of oral therapeutics for triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).
TNBC accounts for approximately 10-15% of all breast cancers and currently there is no effective therapy for these patients. Isoprene’s oral therapeutics function as protein degraders. Dr. David Weber, Interim Director, IBBR and Professor and Director of the Center for Biomolecular Therapeutics stated “Dr. Njar’s research and development involving RAMBAs/Mnk1/2 protein degraders is extremely exciting for treatment of cancer and other diseases and this recently funded fast-track NIH/NCI award will significantly accelerate the ‘bench to bedside’ research required to get these novel therapeutic agents to patients.” More information on this award can be found here.