Technology Listings

Chemotherapeutics Targeting Mitochondrial Complex I and HIF


Benzohydrol derived compounds that induce a therapeutic response in cancer cells through the synergistic targeting of mitochondrial complex I and hypoxia inducible factor (HIF).

Key Benefits
  • Utilizes dual mechanisms of action for increased efficacy.
  • Provides therapeutic window for selective targeting of cancer cells.
  • Potent against glioblastoma, sarcoma and melanoma cell lines.
Market Summary

Therapeutic regimens available to clinicians cause extreme side effects and remain non-effective against chemo-resistant cancers that are commonly present in relapsed patients. A promising route for tackling these two recurring problems in chemotherapeutics is through the inhibition of the hypoxia inducible factor which is upregulated in cancer cells. Despite tremendous efforts, research toward developing HIF agents has not resulted in a significant anti-cancer compound and discovering an active HIF-targeted agent remains an unmet clinical need.

Technology Summary

Upregulation of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) is a direct indication of poor patient prognosis attributed to increased cancer progression, heightened invasiveness of tumors and an amplified resistance to chemo and radiotherapies. In cells with normal oxygen conditions, HIF is rapidly degraded by prolyl hydroxylase. In hypoxic cancer cells the activity of prolyl hydroxylase is diminished, meaning that the HIF protein is allowed to survive. This HIF protein leads to the transcription of various proteins that increase the proliferation of cancer cells in hypoxic conditions. Researchers at Emory University and Georgia State University have yielded several compounds that are highly potent against melanoma, sarcoma and glioblastoma cancer cells through the targeting of the HIF pathway. These compounds also act synergistically against cancer cell proliferation by inhibiting mitochondrial complex I, leading to ATP exhaustion, inhibition of phospho-protein signaling and cell death.

Developmental Stage

In vitro data demonstrating the effectiveness of the synergistic anti-cancer agents are available.

Patent Information
App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date
Nationalized PCT - United States United States 15/570,969 10/31/2017    
Nationalized PCT - Foreign EP 16789902.0   11/23/2017    
Nationalized PCT - Foreign China 201680034730.0   12/14/2017    
Tech ID: 15049
Published: 5/8/2015
Drug Discovery

Justin Burns
Licensing Associate
Emory University

Erwin Van meir
Binghe Wang
Stefan Kaluz
Jalisa Holmes
Xingyue Ji

Small Molecule