Ohio State College of Pharmacy and OSUCCC – James collaborate to support cancer drug discovery

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September 20, 2019

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The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy (COP) and The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC) have initiated a 10-year partnership to expand drug discovery and development in cancer and cancer-related diseases. 

Through the agreement, the OSUCCC – James will invest approximately $15 million for renovations of more than 19,300 square feet of the COP Division of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy space. In addition, the OSUCCC – James will allocate an additional $3 million toward a Small Molecule Screening Facility, a shared COP and OSUCCC resource in which Blake R. Peterson, PhD, chair of the COP Division of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, will serve as director. The OSUCCC Medicinal Chemistry Shared Resource will also be relocated to the COP, allowing for synergies in the discovery and development of new cancer therapeutics.

In recognition of the OSUCCC – James contributions to space renovations and research, the partners will share intellectual property revenue from current and future COP cancer-related drug, devices and other technologies developed by researchers occupying the renovated space. In addition, COP and the OSUCCC – James will share the costs to acquire patents and associated legal fees. 

“The College of Pharmacy has had a longstanding partnership with the OSUCCC since the cancer center’s inception,” said Henry J. Mann, PharmD, FCCP, FCCM, FASHP, dean of the COP. “This significant investment reinforces the groundbreaking work that we are doing to retain world-renowned researchers who are exploring new frontiers in drug discovery and development, pharmaceutical sciences, and translational clinical research.”

This most recent agreement builds upon a series of joint hires between the OSUCCC – James and COP focused on cancer drug discovery. In 2015, Sharyn Baker, PhD, was recruited as the college’s chair of the Division of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry and the OSUCCC’s Gertrude Parker Heer Chair in Cancer Research.  Baker also serves as the OSUCCC associate director for shared resources. Alex Sparreboom, PhD, was recruited at the same time and named professor at COP and is the OSUCCC’s Lucius A. Wing Chair of Cancer Research and Therapy. 

Baker and Sparreboom’s recruitment has resulted in more than $9 million in total grant funding since their hires. 

Peterson is the most recent COP and OSUCCC joint faculty recruit. He was named chair of the college’s Division of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy in August. 

“We are immensely grateful for the OSUCCC – James and their engagement with the College of Pharmacy. Their partnership affords the college opportunities that most universities don’t have access to and our work is significantly strengthened by the OSUCCC,” Mann said. “Together we are committed to improving health and well-being across the globe.”