According to a story from crainsnewyork.com, the biotechnology company Gotham Therapeutics has received financing to the tune of $54 million so that it can begin developing drugs to treat rare types of cancer. The company has already begun its research in association with Weill Cornell Medicine. The company was originated in order to capitalize on recent research that has the potential to lead to new therapeutic targets for a variety of cancer types.
The first stage in this process will be putting together prototype drug candidates that will initially be tested in animal studies. These initial tests are essential for establishing the proof of concept basis for the new drugs that Gotham hopes to develop.
The research basis for these new drugs is rooted in the work of Dr. Samie Jaffrey. Dr. Jaffrey is a pharmacology professor at Weill Cornell. An article originally published in 2017 that describes the initial basis of this research can be found here. The research focuses on the possibility of modifying RNA, which play a critical role in the creation of certain proteins. Changes to RNA have the potential to have substantial impacts on disease activity and overall health.
Chunk of Change
Gotham will join a cadre of other New York City based biotechnology companies that have received a healthy chunk of funding to begin their research, including direct competitors that are investigating RNA modifications as the basis for their products. The company was originally founded in May of last year and is currently led by Lee Babiss, who already has experience leading a drug developer that is focusing on more rare illnesses.
Some of the types of cancer that Gotham is hoping to tackle with is therapies include some of the most notorious and deadly forms, such as pancreatic cancer and glioblastoma. Both of these cancers have extremely low five year survival rates, and the current treatment options available for them have little effect in a lot of cases. The RNA modification approach could also be used for treating ovarian cancer, neurodegenerative disease, and a variety of other rare illnesses as well.