Finding compounds that can help fight cancer

Biotechnology firm SuviCa Inc. of Boulder, Colorado, and University of Colorado (CU) at Boulder have completed an exclusive license agreement for a CU drug screening technology to identify novel therapies for cancer.

The patented drug discovery tool, developed by Professor Tin Tin Su of the molecular, cellular, and developmental biology (MCDB) department, uses a genetically modified Drosophila fruit fly model to screen for compounds effective against various types of cancer, either alone or in combination with existing therapies.

The screening technique will be used to identify new clinical candidates using a methodology that is both time efficient and cost effective. Because it uses a whole-animal screening model, the technique can more easily eliminate drug candidates with undesired toxicity.

SuviCa Inc is an early-stage cancer drug discovery and development company co-founded by Su, who now serves as its chief science officer.

Formed in July 2010, the company has principal operations in Boulder, CO and is based on intellectual property licensed from the University of Colorado.

The company's lead candidate molecules target the ribosome in general and, more specifically, steps during protein synthesis that are distinct from the targets of other drugs currently being developed.