UB Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focused on developing a novel therapy for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Multiple Myeloma (MM) is the second most common cancer that affects blood cells, with a 5-year survival rate of ~50%.
Most patients develop either primary (or innate) or secondary resistance to the currently marketed drugs, leading to relapse of the disease. These therapies’ mechanism of action is to inhibit the proteasome activity
UB Therapeutics’ novel compound, a proteasome degradation inhibitor, has shown great promise in early pre-clinical studies. The drug candidate is distinct from other proteasome inhibitors in that it targets the degradation pathway of the proteasome more directly, which may result in enhanced efficacy in patients that have developed resistance to other FDA-approved proteasome inhibitors.
The compound is a cyclic peptide with potential anti-cancer therapeutic activity. The cyclic peptides block the action of deubiquitinases and the proteasome, induce apoptosis in vitro, and attenuate tumor growth in vivo. Importantly, these cyclic peptides show in vitro and in vivo activity comparable to a small molecule proteasome inhibitor and similarly induce apoptosis in cancer cells. However, they act through a different mode of action. Whereas the immediate target of small molecules proteasome inhibitors such as bortezomib is the chymotrypsin-like β5 catalytic subunit of the proteasome, the cyclic peptides impair the recognition and subsequent proteasomal degradation of ubiquitinylated proteins. This different mechanism may have therapeutic advantages, as it can avoid the innate and acquired resistance associated with direct proteasome inhibitors.
Multiple myeloma accounts for about 10% of all hematological cancers. In the United States, multiple myeloma accounts for about 1.8 percent of all new cancer cases (about 35,000 new patients were diagnosed in 2021). It primarily affects the elderly, with a median age at diagnosis of around 70 years. The rising prevalence of hematological cancer is estimated to enhance the multiple myeloma market’s growth rate. Furthermore, the rising geriatric population and the increasing number of obese populations will expand the multiple myeloma market.
Data Bridge Market Research analyses that the multiple myeloma market was valued at USD 23.53 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 38.94 billion by 2029, registering a CAGR of 6.50% during the forecast period of 2022 to 2029
Prof. Ashraf Brik, Ph.D Founder
Ashraf Brik is a Professor of Chemistry at the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry in the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Prof. Brik received his M.Sc. and Ph.D degrees in Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry from the Faculty of Chemistry in the Technion. Dr. Brik was a Research Associate in the Scripps Research Institute and then joined the Department of Chemistry at the Ben-Gurion University as an Assistant Professor. As of 2014, Prof. Brik joined the Faculty of Chemistry at the Technion, and became a Neubauer Professor in 2015.
Professor Brik greatly contributed for the development of novel and unique chemical approaches to prepare modified ubiquitinated peptides and proteins for biochemical, biophysical, and functional analyses. These discoveries are now being translated into development of novel drug discovery approaches.
Professor Brik has published over 145 publications in top journals. Professor Brik serves in the Editorial Board of Organic Biomolecular Chemistry, Cell Chemical Biology Chemistry and ChembioChem (WiIley). Professor Brik has received numerous prestigious awards among them the 2019 Israel Chemical Society Prize of Excellence and the Bessel Award of the Humboldt Foundation for 2015 (Germany). In 2018 Prof. Brik was elected as a member of the Israeli Young Academy and in 2019 he received the prestigious Advanced ERC Grant.
Dima Ghannam -Shahbari, Ph.D, CEO
Dima has a B.sc in life science from Tel-Aviv university, M.sc, and Ph.D. in medical science from the Technion (direct excellence track). Dr. Dima Ghannam Shahbari gained more than 10 years of extensive experience and knowledge in the field of cancer research from basic to translational research, using human in-vitro cell culture, molecular assays, data processing, statistical analysis, designing experiments, biochemistry, and genetics methods.
Liora Sklair – Tavron, Ph.D , Senior consultant
Liora Sklair-Tavron, Ph.D. is an experienced executive bringing over 20 years of diverse experience in leadership roles from global pharma, biopharmaceutical startup companies, technological accelerators, and medical device startup. Dr. Sklair-Tavron acquired her bio-pharmaceutical industry record starting at the Innovative R&D of Teva Pharmaceuticals, where she led collaborative drug discovery initiatives, as well as preclinical and clinical stage projects for 11 years, during 2001-2012. Following her tenure at Teva, Dr. Sklair-Tavron serves in senior R&D management roles at several small-mid-size Israeli bio-pharmaceutical startup companies. Dr. Sklair-Tavron earned her PPh.D.at the Weizmann Institute and completed her postdoctoral studies at Yale University Medical School.