New members bring unparallel scientific and clinical expertise to anti-metastasis approaches in osteosarcoma and cancer in general, for both human and veterinary settings.
HOBOKEN, N.J. (PRWEB) JANUARY 07, 2020
Vuja De Sciences (“Vuja De”), a biotechnology startup dedicated to developing cancer metastasis treatments that prevent cancer progression and recurrence, today announced the appointments of Chand Khanna, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Onc), and Dr. Lee Helman, MD, to its Board of Directors. Rick Lampe, Co-founder and CEO of Vuja De said, “We are delighted to welcome Chand and Lee as new directors. They will be of great help in advancing our unique approach to the discovery and development of metastatic progression targeting cancer treatments in osteosarcoma and other cancers.” Dr. David Warshawsky, Vuja De’s Founder and Chairman of the Board added: “I am confident that their leadership will have a highly meaningful impact on Vuja De’s ability to translate our core anti-metastasis drug discovery platform to ground-breaking therapies against cancer progression and to our success in building a strong and leading company in the fight against cancer.”
Vuja De has been collaborating with Dr. Chand Khanna, Chief Science Officer of Ethos Veterinary Health and President of Ethos Discovery. Through this interaction VuJa De and Ethos have an innovative collaborative plan and path for metastasis-focused drug development that includes clinical trials in pet dogs with cancer (i.e. comparative oncology). “I am delighted to join the leadership at Vuja De. Targeting metastatic progression has been my passion for over 20 years and the team at Vuja De stands poised to rapidly translate new findings from its metastasis drug screens to effective drugs for the primary unmet need for cancer patients,” said Dr. Khanna.
Dr. Lee Helman stated: “I am delighted to join the Vuja De board and to work with the team to do whatever is needed to help bring treatments that prevent cancer progression and recurrence to patients with osteosarcoma and other cancers.”
“Ethos Veterinary Health is excited and highly supportive of the planned collaboration with Vuja De, beginning with Dr. Khanna joining the leadership team and soon leading to comparative oncology clinical trials that will develop effective treatments for both human and canine cancer patients,” said Ames Prentiss, CEO of Ethos Veterinary Health.
Dr. Chand Khanna
Dr. Khanna was the longtime Head of the NCI Pediatric Oncology Branch’s Tumor and Metastasis Biology Section, and the Founding Director of the Center for Cancer Research, Comparative Oncology Program. His research interests and responsibilities focused on the problem of cancer metastasis and the discovery of new options to treat patients with metastasis. Dr. Khanna has over 100 publications in the area of cancer biology and therapy. He is currently the Chief Science Officer of Ethos Veterinary Health and President of the non-profit incubator of scientific innovation, Ethos Discovery (501c.3.). In these roles Dr. Khanna seeks to improve outcomes for human and pet patients with complex medical problems through the development of novel therapeutics and diagnostics.
Dr. Lee Helman
Dr. Helman is Section Head of Basic and Translational Research within the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases and Director of the Cancer and Blood Diseases Research Program of the Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. He is also Professor of Pediatrics in the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Dr. Helman has been studying the biology and caring for pediatric patients with sarcomas for over thirty years. He has also trained many investigators in the field of pediatric sarcomas. One current area of active research at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles focuses on using full genomic classification of osteosarcoma tumors to improve therapy, as well as testing novel therapeutic drugs and drug combinations in patients with osteosarcoma. Dr. Helman received his medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine magna cum laude in 1980 and was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha. He has served as scientific director for clinical research in the Center for Cancer Research at the NIH until 2016. He was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Association of Physicians and is a founding member and past president of the Connective Tissue Oncology Society. He is a past member of the Board of Governors of the Clinical Center at NIH. In addition to his many appointments with different organization, he has been appointed director of the Osteosarcoma Institute.
About Comparative Oncology
In the setting of cancer drug development, comparative oncology involves the inclusion of dogs with naturally occurring cancer in clinical trials, where novel or repurposed drugs are tested to answer questions that cannot be answered in conventional animal models of cancer or human clinical trials.
Osteosarcoma is an aggressive cancer of the bone in dogs and human patients and is the most common type of bone cancer in children and teens. Despite successful control of the primary tumor and follow-up chemotherapy, metastasis continues to be the most common cause of mortality for both species. The last 30 years have brought little improvement in survival outcomes for children with osteosarcoma, despite intensification of therapy. Due to lack of improved outcomes, new approaches to therapy are highly needed. Furthermore, if targeted therapeutics are found to prevent metastasis in this human cancer, a strong biological rationale would exist for the evaluation of such a therapy in other human cancers.
About Ethos Veterinary Health
Ethos is a veterinary health company with hospitals across the U.S. providing advanced medical care for pets. Our approach includes a focus on transformative science, continuous learning, growth for team members, and the development of collaborative relationships. For more information, visit ethosvet.com.
About Ethos Discovery
Ethos Discovery is a 501(c)3 non-profit incubator of scientific innovation that seeks to improve health outcomes in pets and humans with complex medical problems, including cancer. For more information, please visit ethosdiscovery.org
About Vuja De Sciences
Vuja De is a biotechnology startup dedicated to developing cancer metastasis treatments that prevent cancer progression and recurrence. Our initial focus is osteosarcoma. We utilize leading laboratory technologies for metastatic preclinical endpoints in combination with Comparative Oncology to de risk and inform product development and maximize likelihood for successful human oncology clinical trials. We are testing repurposed drugs that have previously been in human clinical trials, as well as novel preclinical drugs. For more information, please visit vujade-life.com.
“Targeting metastatic progression has been my passion for over 20 years and the team at Vuja De stands poised to rapidly translate new findings from its metastasis drug screens to effective drugs for the primary unmet need for cancer patients”, said Dr. Khanna.