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SRI, Stanford Cancer Institute launch drug discovery program

Friday, December 11, 2015

A new collaborative program between scientists at SRI Biosciences, a division of SRI International, and physician-researchers from Stanford Cancer Institute (SCI) will pursue development of novel compounds to treat multiple forms of cancer and other conditions.

The SRI Biosciences-Stanford Drug Discovery and Development Program has been created in response to a significant drop in the early pipeline of innovative new drugs, and builds on a history of partnerships among investigators from both institutions. The combined basic research, drug discovery and drug development expertise of researchers from SCI and SRI Biosciences has successfully advanced numerous projects, and the new program adds structure, support and coordination to such efforts.

Previous collaborations have yielded new therapeutic candidates, including Tirapazamine, an experimental anticancer drug discovered by SRI and SCI investigators and brought to phase III clinical trials. Several other SRI-SCI developed compounds are currently undergoing preclinical testing.

The program brings together teams of multidisciplinary scientists in both discovery and refinement of novel compounds and targets, and it provides access to the critical scientific infrastructure necessary for disease mechanism understanding and target discovery, and drug discovery and development through clinical safety and proof of concept.

“Advances in genomic and molecular analysis of individual patients and their cancers are creating new therapeutic opportunities,” said Stanford Cancer Institute Director Beverly S. Mitchell, M.D. “We are excited to work with the skilled SRI Biosciences researchers to enhance our drug development efforts.” The program will be co-led by Sanjay V. Malhotra, Ph.D., FRSC, associate professor of radiation oncology at Stanford, and Nathan Collins. Together they will coordinate and support a diverse and evolving group of investigators and technical experts to advance promising projects.

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