Discovery Files

NSF provides support for drug discovery platform for hard-to-treat cancers

Building blocks can be used to generate synthetically challenging compounds

A new round of support will help a Purdue University-affiliated startup further develop a platform designed to create drugs for people with hard-to-treat cancers.

Akanocure Pharmaceuticals, Inc., has received Small Business Innovation Research Phase II funding from America's Seed Fund, powered by the National Science Foundation, to develop chemical tools and platforms to produce valuable chemical building blocks.

These building blocks can be used to generate synthetically challenging compounds needed for advanced research in the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and veterinary industries.

"We will use this award to advance our ability to develop more diverse libraries of molecules and create treatment options across multiple types of cancers," said Mohammad Noshi, Akanocure co-founder and NSF SBIR principal investigator.

The platform was created in the laboratory of Philip Fuchs, Akanocure's chief scientific officer and an emeritus organic chemist at Purdue University.

Akanocure co-founders also received assistance from the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub housed in the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration. The Akanocure technology is licensed through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization.

"The support we've received helped move this technology from the bench to commercialization at an almost unbelievable pace," said Sherine Abdelmawla, Akanocure co-founder and CEO.

Added Henry Ahn, NSF SBIR program director, "This company’s technology has the potential to have an impact in the pharmaceutical, agricultural and veterinary markets, and we look forward to seeing Akanocure expand and strengthen its platform through this Phase II project."