Biotechnology company Viral Genetics (VRAL.PK) has entered into an exclusive license agreement with the University of Colorado to develop cancer therapies based on the work of M. Karen Newell, Ph.D., a professor of biology at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. This new line of research will be pursued by scientists at MetaCytoLytics Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Viral Genetics.
Newell has discovered a process called "metabolic disruption technology" (MDT), which blocks invasive cells' ability to generate energy from sugars or fatty acids. In essence, MDT "starves" cancer cells, causing them to die. As proof of principle, Newell's team at CU has performed more than 400 metabolic disruption technology experiments in vitro and in animal models.
"The team at Viral Genetics has the knowledge and experience to develop these technologies into products that may ultimately change the way we understand and develop drugs and processes for a variety of human related applications," said David Allen, CU associate vice president for technology transfer. The licensed intellectual property portfolio includes related technology developed by Newell at the University of Vermont.
"This agreement enables us to pursue new lines of research with Dr. Newell," said Viral Genetics CEO Haig Keledjian. "Her latest discoveries have tremendous potential to help patients with drug-resistant tumors, the leading cause of death due to cancer." According to Newell, MDT is expected to be combined with traditional chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Newell believes that the same process may also be used to create more effective biofuels by increasing polyunsaturated fats in plant cells.