Kewaunee Lecture: Discovery, Preclinical and Clinical Development of Therapeutic for Cancer Treatment
Thursday, March 8, 2018
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Fitzpatrick Center Schiciano Auditorium
George Georgiou, Ph.D., Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and Molecular Genetics and Biology, University of Texas, Austin
Kewaunee Poster Session
12:00pm – Fitzpatrick Center Pre-Function Area
3:30pm - Schiciano Auditorium
Achievement and Poster Awards
4:30pm - Schiciano Auditorium
5:00pm - Fitzpatrick Center Atrium
A main focus of our laboratory is centered on the engineering of therapeutic enzymes and antibodies. We have pioneered the engineering of human therapeutic enzymes capable of degrading specific amino acids related to disease pathology, studies that had led to one protein therapeutic that is currently being evaluated in 3 Phase I clinical trials and two preclinical stage therapeutics that will enter human trials in 2018. In one notable example, which will be discussed in some detail we have created a human enzyme that effectively degrades Kynurenine, a tryptophan oxidation product that has very potent immune-suppressive effects. We have shown that administration of this engineered enzyme activates the immune system, and specifically T cells, to attack and eradicate tumors in animal models of breast cancer, melanoma and colon carcinoma. As part of this talk I will also discuss our program on the development of improved therapeutic antibodies that have been engineered for enhanced killing of target pathogenic cells and other properties that are critical for the pharmacology of antibody drugs.
Dr. Georgiou joined the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin in 1986. He earned his doctoral degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University in 1987. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Microbiology and has received numerous international awards.
Georgiou has developed several protein-based therapies for diseases, including co-developing the leading approach under consideration for treatment of inhaled anthrax. The approach is undergoing clinical evaluation by Elusys Therapeutics Inc. before it is considered for Food and Drug Administration review to become an approved treatment. Other research currently in progress includes the engineering of antibodies for protection against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the discovery of proteins that can treat autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. His group is also developing generic technologies for accelerating the discovery and production of protein drugs.