SAN DIEGO, July 9, 2018 — Polaris Group, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel drugs for cancer, announced that Chi Van Dang, M.D., Ph.D. has joined its Scientific Advisory Board.
Best known for his pioneer work demonstrating that as a master regulator of gene expression, mutation or aberrant expression of MYC is associated with many types of cancer and their altered metabolism which require vast quantities of energy and molecular building blocks to sustain proliferation. This supports the hypothesis that disrupting cancer cells’ altered metabolism pathways could be an effective approach to treating cancer. Dr. Dang is the Scientific Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (Institute of Medicine), American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and chairs the National Cancer Institute’s Board of Scientific Advisors. Before joining the Ludwig Institute, he was Director of the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, Professor of Medicine, and the John H. Glick Professor.
“I am delighted to join the SAB of Polaris, which is driving the forefront of cancer therapy by exploiting the metabolic vulnerability of cancer,” said Dr. Dang. “In particular, as a trained medical oncologist and longtime researcher in the field of cancer metabolism, I am excited about the results of early clinical studies performed by Polaris on ADI‑PEG 20, which brings hope for meaningful resolution of cancers with unmet medical needs.”
About ADI‑PEG 20
ADI‑PEG 20 is a biologic being developed by Polaris Group to treat cancers carrying a major metabolic defect that renders them unable to internally synthesize arginine. Because arginine is essential for protein synthesis and survival of cells, these cancer cells become dependent upon the external supply of arginine to survive and grow. ADI‑PEG 20 is designed to deplete the external supply of arginine, causing arginine-dependent cancer cells to die while leaving the patient’s normal cells unharmed. Multiple cancers have been reported to have a high degree of arginine-dependency and can potentially be treated with ADI‑PEG 20.
About Polaris Group
Polaris Group specializes in the research and development of protein drugs to treat cancer and other debilitating diseases. In addition to the ADI‑PEG 20 program, Polaris Group is developing other therapeutic agents including a small molecule drug program that utilizes a rational structure-based approach to design novel compounds that inhibit the biological function of cancer-related protein targets.