A Diverse, Market-Driven Pipeline

The DDI works with world-renowned investigators who perform cutting-edge research in multidisciplinary teams.

Highlights of a few current projects in our pipeline:

Small Molecules

PP2A Activator for Treatment of AML and Other Hematologic Malignancies
Investigators: Raj Muthusamy, DVM, PhD; William Kisseberth, DVM, PhD; Mitch Phelps, PhD; John C. Byrd, MD

Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is an important tumor suppressor that is frequently inactivated in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and other hematologic malignancies. This team has developed a selective activator of PP2A to address the significant unmet need in AML.

Selective Non-Steroidal ER β Agonists as a New Approach to Tumor Suppression
Investigator: Werner Tjarks, Dr.rer.nat.

A novel series of selective non-steroidal estrogen receptor beta agonists is in development for the treatment of cancer as well as the precancerous condition, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

Mps1 Inhibition as a Treatment for Solid and Hematological Cancers
Investigators: Harold Fisk, PhD, in collaboration with Robert Brueggemeier, PhD; Tom Li, PhD; and Michael Darby, PhD

Mps1 is a protein that regulates cell division, and its overexpression is associated with poor outcomes in multiple tumor types. This team is developing selective inhibitors of Mps1.

Selective RAL A GTPase Inhibitors as a Cancer Treatment
Investigators: Steven Sizemore, PhD, and Steffen Lindert, PhD

The Ral A protein has been shown to be a critical node in the signaling pathways allowing growth of several types of cancer. This team is developing first-in-class, selective inhibitors of Ral A.

AHR Hydrocarbon Receptor as a Target for Myeloma
Investigator: Don Benson, MD, PhD

The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) has been implicated as a sensor of environmental chemicals as well as a critical regulator of B-cell development. This team is evaluating small molecule inhibitors of AHR to address the significant unmet need in myeloma.

DHODH Inhibitors for Treatment of Hematological Malignancies
Investigators: Thomas Goodwin, PhD; John Byrd, MD; Erin Hertlein, PhD; Ola Elgamal, PhD

Recent proof of concept research has re-kindled interest in targeting cancers through inhibition of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH). The Ohio State University, in collaboration with Hendrix College, is developing a series of novel DHODH inhibitors for the treatment of hematological malignancies, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML).


Split Delivery and Functional Reconstitution of Immunotoxins via Dual Tumor-Targeted Pathways
Investigator: Dmitri Kudryashov, MD, PhD

The team is developing a unique strategy for increasing the safety profile of highly potent immunotoxins by ensuring that active toxins are produced only within cancer cells.


Activated B Cells as a Therapeutic Cancer Platform
Investigators: Thomas L. Cherpes, MD, DVM; Rodolfo Vicetti Miguel, MD; and Nirk Quispe Calla, MD

A novel B cell-based cancer vaccine, with the potential to be personalized to an individual’s own tumor signature, is being developed for use in the treatment of a wide variety of cancer types.

Building and Managing the DDI Pipeline

The DDI pipeline is focused on the development of therapeutics and diagnostics for the treatment of cancer.

  • November 2011: Creation of Ohio State’s Drug Development Institute
  • March 2013: First investments in DDI pipeline projects
  • Building and managing the pipeline is a dynamic process:
    • New projects are routinely evaluated for probability of scientific and commercial success
    • Projects are continually assessed, with the reallocation of investments to the most promising drug development projects
    • Pipeline decisions are made early and rapidly:
      • Data-driven go/no-go decisions
      • Progress against planned development timelines
      • Changes to the commercial or intellectual property landscape
  • The DDI accelerates projects forward using measurable milestones and industry-standard go/no-go decision criteria
  • All new investments and go/no-go decisions are determined with input from our scientific advisory board

For more information, contact the DDI at ddi@osumc.edu.

Contact the DDI

Email: ddi@osumc.edu
Phone: 614-685-6957 

Meet Us

The DDI Team will be at the following conference.

AACR Annual Meeting

Atlanta, Ga.
March 30-April 3, 2019

Schedule a Meeting

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