Posted: July 10, 2018
For Immediate Release
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CURESEARCH FOR CHILDREN’S CANCER ANNOUNCES INAUGURAL CATAPULT AWARD RECIPIENT
$1 Million Grant Funds High-Impact Children’s Brain Cancer Research
BETHESDA, MD – July 10, 2018 – CureSearch is proud to announce its inaugural Catapult Award has been granted to Dr. Ranjit Bindra of the Yale Cancer Center, supporting his ground-breaking work on a novel drug for pediatric glioma. CureSearch’s Catapult Awards support high impact, clinic ready projects as part of an overall research strategy focused on moving treatments into development in an accelerated timeframe. Bindra has an established history with CureSearch as a highly productive Young Investigator Award recipient from 2015-2017.
“Childhood cancer continues to be the number one disease killer of children. Through the Catapult Awards, we are directly funding Phase I or Phase II clinical research that will drive new treatments to the marketplace for the kids who need it most,” said Kay Koehler, CureSearch CEO. “With the Catapult Awards, we are funding only the most promising therapies – those that show a strong potential for future approval and commercialization, quickly.”
Pediatric glioma, an aggressive type of brain cancer and the focus of Bindra’s research, has a very low 5-year survival rate of less than 25%. Bindra will test a novel drug in pediatric patients with a specific subtype of glioma that makes it sensitive to chemotherapy by inhibiting the PARP gene that is involved in repairing DNA mutations. PARP inhibitors make the cancer more sensitive to standard therapies, lowering the dosage needed and associated long-term toxicity when used in combination with chemotherapy. Bindra’s cutting-edge study can significantly improve long-term survival rates and reduce toxicity in pediatric glioma patients and lead to a potential shift in treatment standards.
“This award will help us build a translational center at Yale which will focus on the development of biomarkers specifically for pediatric cancer clinical trials. It will enable a quantum leap in the bench-to-bedside of some of the best science into the clinic for kids with brain tumors,” said Bindra.
Bindra will partner with the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium to administer the clinical trial at 18 pediatric cancer centers in the U.S., enrolling 78 patients. The study is proposed to take 3 years to complete. Future studies will seek to lower the age of patients based on outcomes of this initial study.
The award was announced at CureSearch’s recent Catapult Summit, an event that convenes top leaders in research, academia, investment, business and healthcare to address the gaps the industry faces to discover better, less-toxic treatments for children’s cancer.
*This press release was edited to the correct statement that 78 patients are enrolled in the clinical trial.
About CureSearch for Children’s Cancer
CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, a national nonprofit organization based in Bethesda, Md., works to end childhood cancer by driving targeted and innovative research with measurable results in an accelerated time frame. CureSearch focuses on advancing the strongest research out of the laboratory and into clinical trials and development, where better, less-toxic treatments can quickly help children.