April 23, 2019  |  Nancy Tyrrell

CBC Accelerator Network (CBCAN) meeting: Accelerator Award LOIs Round Three, Part Two

CBC Accelerator Award Letter of Intent Presenters at the CBCAN, April 16, 2019. From the left: Brian Kay, UIC, Vania Vidimar, NU, Karla Satchell, NU, Peng Ji, NU, Gye Young Park, UIC, Michael Johnson, UIC, Steve Ackerman, UIC and Vadim Gaponenko, UIC.

Round 3 of the CBC’s Accelerator Award program continues to progress. Nine finalists with promising therapeutic and/or an associated diagnostic or biomarker proposals have advanced for the funding award of up to $250,000 for a two-year period. An important step in the application process includes a live presentation of the finalists’ programs and supporting data at a CBCAN event.

The first of two CBCAN meetings took place on Thursday, March 28 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Feinberg Pavilion. The presenters and their programs included William Muller, Northwestern University, “A first-in-class anti-inflammatory agent to block ischemia/ reperfusion injury”, Jeffrey Loeb, University of Illinois at Chicago, “Non-invasive MR spectroscopic method to image the human epileptic brain”, Sui Huang, Northwestern University, “Chemical improvement of metarrestin, an effective anti-metastic lead”, and C. David James and Jack Henkin, Northwestern University, “Optimized combination chemotherapy of glioma with PEDF-derived peptide NU-335”.

Part Two of the Accelerator Award presentations took place at Women’s Prentice Hospital on Tuesday, April 16. We were pleased to welcome five additional finalists as they presented their translational research, including Peng Ji, Northwestern University, “Antithrombotic therapy using PLEK2 inhibitors”, Steve Ackerman and Vadim Gaponenko, University of Illinois at Chicago, “Novel CCR3 peptide biased antagonist for therapy of eosinophilic asthma and eosinophilic esophagitis”, Karla Satchell, Northwestern University, “RAS processing as a strategy to reduce RAS-driven tumors”, Brian Kay, University of Illinois at Chicago, “Best-in-class affinity reagents to Kras”, and Gye Young Park and Michael Johnson, University of Illinois at Chicago, “Inhaled colony stimulating factor 1 receptor inhibitor for asthma therapy”.

Each Principal Investigator delivered an eight-minute presentation which summarized novel approaches for their areas of research. The presenters addressed unmet medical needs and commercial implications, key supportive data, competitive landscape, specific aims, challenging risks, and proposed next steps for their programs. Following the presentations, the audience provided verbal and written feedback for the investigators to consider when submitting their full proposal applications.

During the April 16 CBCAN program, we also had the opportunity to introduce Dr. Eric Schiffhauer, the inaugural CBC Entrepreneurial Fellow (EF). Eric will play a central role in the development, refinement and implementation of CBC-funded awards focused on translational research, including Accelerator Award and Catalyst Award projects. Additionally, Eric will work closely with Lakeside Discovery (LD), a collaboration between Northwestern and Deerfield Management, to accelerate translation of university-based biomedical discoveries that have therapeutic and commercial potential. Welcome, Eric!

Once the live presentations were completed, the audience and presenters joined in the community networking reception where they continued the conversation over hors d’oeuvres and drinks.

Enjoy the photo-gallery of the event!

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▸ CBCAN Program, April 16, 2019