Our Diverse, Market-Driven Portfolio

  • Portfolio Innovation: Drug targets and technologies are directed at the most challenging problems in cancer treatment
  • Portfolio Breadth: Projects are distributed across the entire discovery and early-development value chain
  • Portfolio Depth: Encompasses multiple therapeutic platforms, including small molecules, immunotherapy, vaccines and imaging agents

The DDI invests its resources in the most viable projects after a robust validation process. The chart below demonstrates where our current projects are in the drug development pipeline and their therapeutic platform classifications. We understand that partnering with industry will bring new therapies to patients more quickly; therefore, we encourage partnering discussions at any stage of development (partnering zone).

Invested Projects and Investigators

The DDI works with world-renowned investigators who are performing cutting-edge research in multidisciplinary teams. Featured below are a few of the current projects in our portfolio.

Cellular Immunotherapy for Cancer


A long-standing goal for cancer therapy is developing approaches that improve the host’s own ability to fight tumors. OSUCCC – James researchers have created a vaccine platform that uses B cells to induce and boost host antitumor immunity. This attractive platform technology uses activated B cells to overcome the limitations of dendritic cell (DC) therapies that are currently on the market or in clinical trials.

Project Leads

Thomas Cherpes and Rodolfo Vicetti Miguel 1 Thomas Cherpes and Rodolfo Vicetti Miguel

Epigenetic Inhibitors for Cancer and Autoimmunity


Protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) are a family of enzymes that regulate a wide variety of cellular functions and are frequently associated with many human cancers. Increasing evidence suggests that PRMT5, an important member of the PRMT family, is a potential oncoprotein and an important target for drug development strategies. OSUCCC – James researchers are evaluating PRMT5 inhibitors for the therapeutic treatment of various malignancies and autoimmune diseases.

Project Leads

Baiocchi Jackman and Gureasu de Arellana Mireia Guerau-de-Arellana, PhD, Robert Baiocchi, MD, PhD, Jane Jackman, PhD and Chenglong Li, PhD (not pictured)

Novel Imaging Agent for MRI


A significant shortcoming of traditional PET imaging of tumors is the inability to reliably detect lesions <1 cm in size. MRI is overwhelmingly preferred in imaging of soft tissues due to its <1 mm spatial resolution and exquisite contrast resolution. OSUCCC – James researchers are developing biocompatible, self-assembling synthetic molecules that can transition in the low pH environment around cancer tumors. Once these molecules transition, they are trapped in the extracellular environment near the tumor. By specifically labeling these molecules, we can use them as novel cancer-targeted MRI-imaging agents.

Project Leads

Michael Tweedle and Joshua Goldberger 1 Michael Tweedle, PhD and Joshua Goldberger, PhD

To learn about other projects in our portfolio, contact us at ddi@osumc.edu.

Building and Managing the DDI Portfolio

The DDI Portfolio 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 portfolio projects
  • Building and managing the portfolio is a dynamic process:
    • New projects are evaluated for probability of scientific and commercial success
    • Projects are continually assessed, with the reallocation of investments to the most promising drug development projects
    • Portfolio 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
  • Accelerates projects forward using measurable milestones and industry-standard go/no-go decision criteria

DDI Portfolio History

Since its inception, the DDI has assessed over 100 research projects and selected 14 high-value, commercially-viable drug development projects for investment and/or management. Six projects are ongoing, and three have been out-licensed or resulted in new partnerships.


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

Contact the DDI

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