Purdue-based pharmaceutical startup to participate in American Chemical Society program

Published: September 15, 2015

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Officials at a pharmaceutical startup based on a Purdue University innovation will participate in an entrepreneurial program created by the American Chemical Society.

Sherine Abdelmawla, co-founder and CEO of Akanocure Pharmaceuticals LLC, said the Entrepreneurial Resources Center will benefit the company in several ways.

"The ERC is a virtual business accelerator that specializes in working with chemistry-based startups. It provides advice in the forms of customized business advising, discounted legal and professional services, and technical expertise," she said. "The center also could connect companies with private capital sources and commercial partners, and provides free access to American Chemical Society publications."

Mohammad Noshi, co-founder and COO, said Akanocure Pharmaceuticals could synthesize and develop anti-cancer chemotherapeutic drugs derived from natural sources.

"Nature holds the key to highly complex and potent bioactive molecules in the form of natural products. These natural products are the ideal starting points for drug discovery against many complex diseases including cancer," he said. "The obstacle in transferring natural products to the clinic is lack of a sustainable supply that nature cannot provide."

Purdue University researchers led by Philip Fuchs, the emeritus R. B. Wetherill Professor of Organic Chemistry, developed technology that allows large-scale synthesis of complex natural products. Fuchs is co-founder of Akanocure along with Abdelmawla and Noshi.

"This technology could ensure an adequate supply of these products for development and clinical purposes," Abdelmawla said.

Akanocure Pharmaceuticals has licensed the technology through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. More than 20 startups based on Purdue intellectual property were launched in the 2015 fiscal year. A video about Akanocure Pharmaceuticals is available at http://youtu.be/QN_Ro--09hE.

Akanocure Pharmaceuticals was chosen to participate in the FOUNDER.org Class of 2016. It received $100,000 from the program in June. It also received $20,000 from the Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund in January.

For information on other Purdue intellectual property ready for licensing and commercialization, visit http://otc-prf.org. For more information about available leadership positions, investing in a Purdue startup or licensing a Purdue innovation, visit http://www.purduefoundry.com.

About Akanocure Pharmaceuticals LLC

Akanocure's mission is to synthesize and develop biotargeted anti-cancer chemotherapeutic drugs derived from natural sources. Akanocure's pipeline will consist of analogs of fully validated, highly potent anti-cancer natural products that can only be produced on a large scale through Akanocure's proprietary CCC synthesis platform. The company has competitive edges on two fronts: the synthesis platform that gives Akanocure exclusive access to rare compounds and the potential pipeline of anti-cancer products that are far superior to existing therapies.

About Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S. Services provided by this office support the economic development initiatives of Purdue University and benefit the university's academic activities. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year by the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at innovation@prf.org 

Purdue Research Foundation contact: Steve Martin, 765-588-3342, sgmartin@prf.org 

Sources: Sherine Abdelmawla, 765-588-3822, sabdelmawla@akanocure.com

Mohammad Noshi, 765-588-3822, mnoshi@akanocure.com 

Photo caption: Mohammad Noshi, from left, and Sherine Abdelmawla of Akanocure Pharmaceuticals LLC conduct research on a technology that could synthesize and develop anticancer chemotherapeutic drugs derived from natural sources. The company will participate in the American Chemical Society's Entrepreneurial Resources Center program. (Purdue Research Foundation photo)