Startup with Johns Hopkins roots raising $40.5 million to develop cancer metabolism drugs
A new oncology company spun out of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine is raising up to $40.5 million to develop its platform of anticancer therapies.
The startup, founded just a year ago, is called Dracen Pharmaceuticals, and its tech is based on work by Barbara Slusher, a professor of neurology, and Jonathan Powell, a professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
The researchers altered the structure of an experimental drug that enhanced its ability to slip through the blood-brain barrier. Their research was published in August 2016 in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, which showed in animal studies that the altered drug structure resulted in ten times better drug delivery to the brains compared with the rest of animals’ bodies.
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