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CSU-based center gets state funding to further drug discovery work

June 6, 2014

The Colorado Center for Drug Discovery has received $750,000 from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade to continue to help Colorado research institutions develop new medications to fight cancer and other illnesses.

The CSU-based center will use the funding to support drug development projects around the state as well as support lab staff who prepare compounds and provide other chemistry services to researchers.

“This money will enable us to continue to support the wealth of biomedical research that is going on in Colorado,” said Greg Miknis, associate director of C2D2.

C2D2 was created in 2010 as part of Colorado’s Bioscience Discovery Evaluation Grant Program to bolster drug discovery research in the state. Over the past four years, the center has provided more than $736,000 in grants to 25 drug discovery programs at all of the state’s major research institutions.

Recent grants

C2D2 recently awarded another $100,000 in grants to:

  • Kim Heidenrich at the University of Colorado-Denver School of Medicine, to develop a treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury, which is the leading cause of death in children and is one of the major causes of disability in all ages. Despite its prevalence, there is not yet an effective treatment for TBI.
  • Dan Theodorescu at the University of Colorado-Denver School of Medicine, to develop a novel class of compounds that have the potential to be first-in-class inhibitors for the treatment of cancer. Funding will be used for pivotal metabolism and pharmacokinetic studies.
  • Steve Dow at Colorado State University, who is working with researchers at UC-Denver School of Medicine to develop drugs that make vaccines more effective.
  • Chris Lowry at the University of Colorado-Boulder, todevelop novel anti-depressants that work by a new biological mechanism. C2D2 will provide funding for key metabolism and pharmacokinetic studies carried out at CSU’s Flint Animal Cancer Center. If successful, this work will provide critical proof-of-concept data for a potential new treatment for depression.
  • Susan Keenan at University of Northern Colorado, to develop drugs that can treat flaviviruses such as West Nile, yellow fever and dengue.  Much of world is at risk of infection by one of the 35 flaviviruses.

In addition to the grants, C2D2 will continue to provide chemistry assistance to Erwin Gelfand, a researcher at National Jewish Health in Denver.  This collaboration focuses on the development of new medicines that can be used to treat allergic diseases such as food allergy and asthma.