University of South Alabama

Method for Screening Anti-Cancer Compounds and Detecting Cancer in Mammals



The global market for cancer therapeutics is enormous and predicted to reach $100.6 billion in 2018 with the total revenue for the sale of anti-cancer drugs expected to continue to rise until 2022. North America dominates the industry controlling over one third of the total market share. The market comprises various classes of compounds and biologics. There is a persistent need for newer, less toxic, and more targeted therapies. Since most chemotherapies carry debilitating side effects that limit their efficacy, compounds that are highly specific to their target are desired. The typical advantage of repurposing existing compounds for new clinical indications are that the compounds have been “derisked” to an extent. Compounds that are already FDA approved, have already proven to have a certain level of safety, have know formulations, have a reimbursement strategy, and established marketing channels. Investors and strategic partners find these opportunities more appealing if the new use can stay within the safety profiles and establish some new competitive advantage (new intellectual property or new formulations). In this opportunity, the compounds being repurposed are still early in clinical development.



Inventors at the University of South Alabama have developed both diagnostic tools and therapeutics for the treatment of cancer based on phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibition. An assay specific for PDE inhibitors was developed to detect PDE inhibitors that are potential therapeutics for treatment of various cancerous and precancerous conditions including colorectal cancer. This assay is an opportunity to repurpose known inhibitors of PDE towards a cancer therapeutic indication as well as identify novel compounds as PDE specific inhibitors.



•  Assay for identification of new PDE inhibitors

•  Diagnostic assay for various cancer indications



Patent Filed


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Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Andrew Byrd
University of South Alabama
Gary Piazza