COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Jeffrey Patrick, PharmD, has been named director of the Drug Development Institute (DDI) at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James), effective Feb. 13, 2017.
Created by the OSUCCC – James and with the help of seven Ohio State colleges and the university’s technology commercialization office, the DDI helps accelerate cancer drug development through strategic partnerships within the global pharmaceutical and research/development industries. DDI has cataloged 30 novel anticancer agents developed at Ohio State and is currently working to advance the most promising toward phase 1 human testing by seeking investigational new drug applications by 2020.
“Over the past five years, we have quietly built a pipeline for advancing early stage research to ensure the most promising new cancer therapy approaches do not languish in university laboratories,” says Michael Caligiuri, MD, director of the OSUCCC and chief executive officer of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. “Dr. Patrick brings deep knowledge and experience from the pharmaceutical industry that will help take our cancer program’s drug development efforts to the next level, and ultimately create new therapeutics for cancer patients.”
Dr. Patrick joins the OSUCCC – James from New Haven Pharmaceuticals in Connecticut, where he served as chief scientific officer. In this role, he was responsible for leading development and implementation of scientific strategy for company products and leading the design and implementation of preclinical and clinical trials.
Patrick has nearly 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, serving as in past roles as global vice president of professional affairs at Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; director of medical science liaisons at Dyax Corp.; field director for medical sciences at Myogen/Gilead Sciences; senior medical science liaison at Actelion Pharmaceuticals US Inc.; and medical science liaison for Sanofi-Synthelabo Inc.
Prior to pursuing a career in research and development, Patrick was an ambulatory care clinical pharmacist at the University of Tennessee Medical Center and a clinical assistant professor of pharmacy at the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy, where he earned his doctorate in pharmacy. He also completed the Wharton School of Business Pharmaceutical Executive Program. In his new role, Dr. Patrick will report to Jeff Walker, chief operating officer and senior executive director for administration for the OSUCCC – James.
2017 Research Investment Projects at the DDI
The DDI exists to advance early stage cancer research developed at Ohio State and serve as a bridge between faculty researchers and pharmaceutical industry. Using an external, peer-reviewed evaluation process, the DDI has identified six core projects that will receive Pelotonia funding as well as drug development technical support, provided by a team of dedicated scientists and advisors with deep experience in creating high-value new drug candidates. The projects represent a $1 million investment and include:
B cells as Personalized Cancer Immunotherapy
Investigators: Thomas L. Cherpes, MD, DVM, and Rodolfo Vicetti Miguel, MD
This multidisciplinary team is developing a novel B cell-based cancer immunotherapy. The therapy deploys a patient’s own B cells as “warheads” that activate the immune system to aggressively attack tumors. This approach has potential to treat a wide variety of cancer types, and may even be personalized to attack targets that are unique to an individual’s tumor.
Tumor-Targeted Payload Delivery
Investigators: Michael Tweedle, PhD, and Joshua Goldberger, PhD
One of the hallmarks of cancer is the continuous replication and high metabolic activity of cells in the tumor. This activity leads to the production of an acidic environment in the tumor. A team at Ohio State has designed molecules that can home in on this acidity and accumulate in the tumor. These specialized molecules could be used to deliver chemo- or radio-therapeutic agents to kill tumor cells or imaging agents to enhance visualization of tumors. DDI investment will support the production and testing of these molecules as a cross-functional delivery platform.
Reprogramming the Immune System to Fight Cancer
Investigators: Mikhail Dikov, PhD, Thomas Magliery, PhD, Ming Poi, PharmD, PhD and David Carbone, MD, PhD
The immune system is an important defense mechanism for recognizing and destroying abnormal cells in the body. Cancer cells often have the unique ability to escape the watchdog effects of the immune system, allowing the cells to grow and to metastasize to other locations. A team of Ohio State researchers have demonstrated that by modulating a signaling pathway in immune cells, they can reprogram the immune system to once again recognize and fight evasive tumor cells. The DDI is investing in research to develop and test a new class of molecules that impact this pathway.
A Vaccine Against a Cancer-causing Virus
Investigator: Robert Baiocchi, MD, PhD
Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) is a virus that infects 90 to 95 percent of adults and is associated with the development of several cancers, including lymphomas, in patients receiving organ or bone marrow transplants. The DDI is supporting the research team to develop a vaccine against the virus, which could be used to improve the body’s immune response to EBV and prevent cancers.A Novel Target for Cancer Treatment
Investigators: Steven Sizemore, PhD, and Steffen Lindert, PhD
The Ral A protein has been shown to be critical for the growth of several types of cancer. Inhibitors of this target have yet to be clinically explored. A team of Ohio State researchers including Steven Sizemore, PhD, of radiation oncology and Steffen Lindert, PhD, of chemistry and biochemistry, are working with the DDI to design and test inhibitors of Ral A for the treatment of cancer.
A New Approach to Targeting a Cancer Driver
Investigator: Werner Tjarks, Dr.rer.nat.
Estrogen receptors are established targets implicated in both cancer and metabolic disorders. Werner Tjarks in the College of Pharmacy has teamed up with colleagues in the Czech Republic to develop a novel series of selective estrogen receptor beta agonists. Prof. Tjarks and the DDI are now collaborating to advance these promising molecules for treating cancer.
About the OSUCCC – James
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute strives to create a cancer-free world by integrating scientific research with excellence in education and patient-centered care, a strategy that leads to better methods of prevention, detection and treatment. Ohio State is one of only 46 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and one of only a few centers funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials on novel anticancer drugs. As the cancer program’s 308-bed adult patient-care component, The James is one of the top cancer hospitals in the nation as ranked by U.S. News & World Report and has achieved Magnet designation, the highest honor an organization can receive for quality patient care and professional nursing practice. At 21 floors with more than 1.1 million square feet, The James is a transformational facility that fosters collaboration and integration of cancer research and clinical cancer care.