$50 million awarded by CPRIT to MD Anderson and its projects

Funds support research, facilities, recruitment, prevention and drug development efforts

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center today was awarded $30 million to support research, core facilities, recruitment and prevention efforts from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). An additional $19.9 million was awarded to a company co-founded by MD Anderson to support the development of a novel targeted therapy to treat neurological conditions caused by chemotherapy. In total, MD Anderson and its projects received 28 percent of the $177 million in awards announced by CPRIT.

MD Anderson awards included $11.9 million for multi-investigator research including awards for breast cancer and pre-clinical studies; $12.5 million for core facilities support; $4 million for new faculty recruitment; $1.3 million for cancer prevention; and $200,000 for high-impact high-risk research. CPRIT awarded $19.9 million to Korysso Therapeutics, Inc., doing business as Magnolia Tejas Corporation, the wholly owned Houston-based subsidiary of Magnolia Neurosciences Corporation, launched by MD Anderson and Accelerator Life Science Partners.

“These CPRIT awards are vital to our mission as they allow us to fund transformational research and prevention projects, to recruit stellar talent and to more quickly advance novel therapeutics developed by our experts,” said Stephen Hahn, M.D., chief medical executive of MD Anderson. “We’re grateful to CPRIT and the people to Texas for this much-needed support that will help us work to improve the treatment and prevention of cancer for our patients and beyond.”

Since its inception, CPRIT has awarded $2.15 billion in grants for cancer research, of which MD Anderson and its projects have received $428 million, or nearly 20 percent. The agency began making awards in 2009 after Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a 2007 constitutional amendment committing $3 billion to the fight against cancer. Programs made possible with CPRIT funding have reached Texans from all 254 counties of the state, brought 159 distinguished researchers to Texas, advanced scientific and clinical knowledge, and provided more than 4.7 million life-saving education, training, prevention and early detection services to Texans.

“CPRIT has reached a significant milestone, which is only possible due to the support of Texans, their elected representatives, and our partner institutions and grantees,” said Wayne Roberts, CPRIT chief executive officer. “As a result of this historical undertaking, Texas is developing into a world class center of cancer research and prevention as our state’s institutions grow in international prominence.”

CPRIT awards to MD Anderson and its projects include:

Multi-Institutional Investigator Awards

  • BRCA answers from cancer interactome structures or BACIS (John Tainer, Ph.D., Molecular and Cellular Oncology) – $5,969,140
  • Rational combination treatment options to reverse resistance in hormone receptor-positive breast cancer refractory to standard therapy (Kelly Hunt, M.D., Breast Surgical Oncology) – $5,992,274

High-Impact High-Risk Awards

  • Targeted proteolysis of glucocortoid receptor as therapeutic strategy in antiandrogen treatment-resistant prostate cancer (Yonathan Lissanu Deribe, Ph.D., Genomic Medicine) – $199,999

Core Facility Support Awards

  • Integrated single-cell genomics core facility (Nicholas Navin, Ph.D., Genetics) – $4,897,577
  • Pediatric solid tumors comprehensive data resource core (Richard Gorlick, M.D., Pediatrics) – $5,005,246
  • Protein array and analysis core or PAAC (Mark Bedford, Ph.D., Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis – $2,594,107

Recruitment of First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Member Awards

  • Recruitment of two experts in cell biology – $4 million

Tobacco Control and Lung Cancer Screening Awards

  • Increasing access to smoking cessation and smoke-free home services for low-income pregnant women in northeast Texas (Janice Blalock, Ph.D., Behavioral Science) – $1,346,919

Texas Company Product Development Awards

  • Development of a novel targeted therapy, based on discoveries made by MD Anderson’s Therapeutics Discovery division, for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and chemo brain (Korysso Therapeutics, Inc) - $19,953,624