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Dolloff Lab's Identification of PDI


rendering of a new class of small molecule that inhibits PDIThe goal of the Dolloff Lab is to translate discoveries in the lab into treatments that impact the lives of cancer patients, and to find ways to expedite the process of “bench to bedside” translation. Dolloff and his group specialize in cancer drug discovery and conduct all areas of preclinical drug development from drug library screening to toxicology. A major discovery in the lab was the identification of a new class of small molecule that inhibits protein disulfide isomerase (PDI), a critical regulator of oxidative protein folding. The potential of PDI as a cancer target is well recognized, but, until now, potent inhibitors with acceptable drug-like properties have been nonexistent. Dolloff and his team have optimized the chemical structure of their drug candidate, demonstrated anti-cancer potential in multiple myeloma and various other hematologic and solid tumors, and have uncovered highly synergistic combinations with FDA-approved cancer therapies that will be pursued in clinical development. Commercialization is an essential consideration in academic drug discovery and development given the financial and resource intensive nature of the process. As such, entrepreneurship is central to the mission of the Dolloff Lab, which has merged a variety of academic and industry development strategies to accelerate the project. These include funding from both public and private sources, leveraging expertise and efficiency of contract research organizations, interactions with start-up companies, and collaborations with pharmaceutical industry experts. Dolloff and his team hope this innovative approach will advance the project to clinical trials and make this new therapy available to patients for the first time.