NSF provides more support for drug discovery platform for hard-to-treat cancers



Credit: Sherine Abdelmawla

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A new round of support will help a Purdue University-affiliated startup further develop a platform designed to create drugs for people with hard-to-treat cancers.

Akanocure Pharmaceuticals Inc. has received a $750,000 Small Business Innovation Research Phase II grant from the National Science Foundation to develop chemical tools and platforms to produce valuable chemical building blocks.

These building blocks can be used to generate synthetically challenging compounds needed for advanced research in the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and veterinary industries.

“We will use this award to advance our ability to develop more diverse libraries of molecules and create treatment options across multiple types of cancers,” said Mohammad Noshi, co-founder and principal investigator.

The platform was created in the laboratory of Philip Fuchs, Akanocure’s chief scientific officer and Purdue’s R. B. Wetherill Professor Emeritus of Organic Chemistry, who holds Purdue’s highest research honor in the natural sciences, the McCoy Award .

Akanocure is located in the Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette. The startup co-founders received assistance from the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub housed in the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration in Purdue’s Discovery Park District, adjacent to the Purdue campus. The Akanocure technology is licensed through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization.

“The support we received from the Purdue Foundry and the entire Purdue entrepreneurship community helped move this technology from the bench to commercialization at an almost unbelievable pace,” said Sherine Abdelmawla, Akanocure co-founder, CEO, and Purdue Ph.D. alumna.


About Purdue Research Foundation

The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts; administers trusts; funds scholarships and grants; acquires property; protects Purdue’s intellectual property; and promotes entrepreneurial activities on behalf of Purdue. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park, Purdue Technology Centers and University Development Office. In 2020, the IPWatchdog Institute ranked Purdue third nationally in startup creation and in the top 20 for patents. The foundation received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization at [email protected] For more information about involvement and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at [email protected]

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 6 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at purdue.edu.

Writer: Chris Adam, 765-588-3341, [email protected]

Source: Sherine Abdelmawla, [email protected]

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