Although platinum-based drugs, such as cisplatin, have achieved great success in cancer treatment and are presently enclosed in the majority of clinical protocols for the management of solid malignancies, their use are associated with significant drawbacks such as severe toxic effects on normal tissues and early appearance of drug resistance phenomena, calling for innovative metal-based drugs endowed with a better pharmacological profile.
We have developed a set of novel coper(I)-based compounds with anti-cancer properties. The choice of copper instead of platinum has several advantages, such as increased accumulation in cancer cells and reduced toxicity due to existence of natural biological pathways that regulate copper levels and detoxify the metal where necessary.
Our proprietary copper complexes show outstanding in vitro antitumor activity against a wide panel of human cancer cell lines, including platinum resistant and multidrug resistant cancer cells. In vivo, compounds induce a remarkable reduction of tumor growth while manifesting a minimal animal toxicity.

TRL (Technology Readiness Level)

Lead Optimization/Preclinical

Inventors

Valentina
Gandin

Cristina
Marzano

Marina
Porchia

Francesco
Tisato

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PoC@Unipd project 2022

With the aim of supporting the competitiveness of businesses by enhancing industrial properties, the Ministry for Economic Development (MISE) has published a call for the establishment of patent enhancement programs, through funding of Proof of Concept (PoC) projects by Italian Universities, Public Research Institutions (EPR), and Scientific Institutions for Research, Hospital and Healthcare (IRCS).

Purpose of the call is establishing TRL (Technology Readiness Level) enhancement paths for technologies patented during academic research, and create the conditions to turn them into strategic opportunities for the business world.

After careful examination of the project proposals received by the Ministry Evaluation Committee, the University of Padua was authorized to develop 8 PoC projects. The projects were selected by the University through an internal call and the program took the first steps in December 2023. From that moment on, the PoC Team started to work to validate the relevant technologies. 

The academic work team has been flanked by an external Expert Committee, comprising top scientific and professional resources (investors and entrepreneurs), capable of providing a respected standpoint on all strategic and planning choices.

UniSMART – Fondazione Università di Padova was tasked with managing the enhancement of the results of 8 projects, through its highly qualified, innovation-oriented staff, in the different PoC project sectors.

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