Daytime exterior photo of UVA's Emily Couric Clinical Cancer CenterWithin its first year of philanthropic support, the TOBCRI team has:

  • Created its first drug, nano-romidepsin and filed for its patent, having performed extensive preclinical modeling. Specifically, researchers studied the drug extensively in cancer cell lines and mouse models, confirming that its activity and efficacy treating T-cell lymphoma exceeds that of the parent drug romidepsin. These exciting findings were presented at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting in December 2022. Clinical-trial funding could allow patient testing within 12-14 months, a remarkably accelerated pace.
  • Is preparing to submit a provisional patent for a second T-cell lymphoma drug, nano-pralatrexate. TOBCRI co-lead Dr. Owen O’Connor invented nano-pralatrexate and is the first practitioner to bring it to the clinic.
  • Developed our group’s first combinatorial nano-therapeutic, combining two drugs in one nanoparticle. These two drugs, azacytidine and romidepsin, demonstrate strong synergistic activity in preclinical and clinical studies with PTCL cell lines, patient samples and clinical trials. This represents a key focus of TOBCRI’s research: identifying and improving delivery of synergistic drug combinations that are more effective when administered together than individually.
  • Expanded international collaboration with colleagues to conduct mouse studies of nano-romidepsin and nano-pralatrexate to collect data before human clinical trials.