Novel Prodrugs for Selective Anticancer Therapy


Anticancer drug sales exceeded $50 billion worldwide in 2009 with impressive growth; however, lack of target selectivity is a major challenge in cancer treatment. The limitation of current chemotherapy is in delivering high enough concentrations of cytotoxic drug to the target site in order to completely eradicate the tumor without harming healthy cells. Therefore, a technology that can enhance target selectivity would significantly improve clinical outcomes as well as quality of life for patients and thus have the potential to create novel drugs that can take over and dominate the market.


Researchers at Stony Brook University have developed novel methods and compositions to make anticancer prodrugs by conjugating unique dual-substrate biochemical modules to known or novel chemotherapeutic drugs. The requirement of sequential activation by two independent key enzymes acting in tumor cells makes the prodrugs highly selective, resulting in fewer side effects compared to existing anticancer drugs in clinical use. In addition, these novel prodrugs have been shown to be much more stable and resistant to non-specific activation by ubiquitous proteases in cytoplasm or plasma than existing prodrugs. Further Details: Ueki et al., 4:2735, 2013


Better selectivity with minimal adverse effects - Reduced nonspecific activation by ubiquitous proteases in cytoplasm or plasma - Ability to ?repackage? existing generic chemotherapeutic drugs to improve selectivity


Anticancer drug therapy - Prodrug formulation

Patent Status

Issued patent: 9,872,919

Stage Of Development

Proof of concept data is available.

Licensing Potential

Development partner - Commercial partner - Licensing

Licensing Status

Available for license. Seeking to develop and commercialize, by an exclusive or non-exclusive license agreement and/or sponsored research, with a company active in the area.

Additional Info

Additional Information: Source: Science in HD,, Unsplash license
Patent Information:
Case ID: R8378
For Information, Contact:
Sean Boykevisch
State University of New York at Stony Brook
Michael Hayman
Nobuhide Ueki
anticancer drugs
cancer-associated protease
nucleoside analogues