The Center for Developmental Therapeutics has developed a pipeline of NU-derived new drug candidates through its internal efforts and through collaborations with individual faculty in the Feinberg School of Medicine (FSM), the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences (WCAS) and the McCormick School of Engineering (MSE) as well as university centers such as the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center (RHLCCC) and the Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence (CCNE). Many of the objectives of the CDT are focused on developing new cutting-edge approaches and a knowledge base that will continue to fuel and lead drug discovery and development for the future. In order to support these activities, the CDT has several long-range plans that will expand Northwestern’s ability and footprint in the translation of novel therapeutic agents to the clinic:
- Develop novel models of cancer progression including Patient-derived xenografts (PDx), novel models of cancer metastasis and dormancy to support novel therapeutic discovery and development
- Develop new models of testing drugs active against eye diseases
- Develop new models of lung fibrosis
- Establish a rapid bench to phase 0 program.
- Develop new approaches to early evaluation of nanoparticle-based drugs
- Expand drug development operations. This will involve building out the toxicology and pharmacokinetics capabilities, expanding our ability to do small molecule PK and antibodies, biologics and nanoparticles where non-HPLC based analytical methods may need to be developed. We will also expand methods for looking at tissue biodistribution and ability to cross the blood-brain barrier.
- Expand biomarker identification and evaluation program. We would work closely with other university resources such as the Proteomics Center of Excellence to discover and validate novel biomarkers of response and patient selection for different tumor types.
- Expand clinical protocol support services. Partner with internal and external investigators to provide analytical and bioanalytical support for their clinical trials. Collaborate with clinical investigators to incorporate correlative studies into all clinical protocols.
CDT continues to build towards its goal of becoming self-sustaining in the near future through grants, recharge, and philanthropic support.