ENB is developing small molecule inhibitors of a novel pathway to treat melanoma and other cancers.
Almost 20 years ago, our team wanted to understand why melanoma cells travel away from the skin to distant sites in the body. We discovered that melanoma spreads through the body because a switch that should only be turned on in the developing embryo gets turned back on in melanoma patients. This switch tells melanoma cells to leave the skin and travel to distant sites, especially the brain, and to multiply without stopping. Our therapies turn off this switch, stopping the cancer cell in its tracks.
This same switch is used by the tumor microenvironment to hide cancer cells from immune system attack. This causes the tumor to lack immune cells, which is referred to as a “cold tumor.” Our therapies turn off this switch and restore the immune system’s ability to infiltrate and attack the tumor, causing the tumor to switch from “cold” to “hot.” These therapies also utilize another mechanism through the formation of tertiary lymphoid organs (TLOs), which are functionally equivalent to lymph nodes that produce tumor-specific T- and B-cells.
Our therapies have shown preclinical efficacy in studies for melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, bladder cancer, and ovarian cancer. Central nervous system (CNS)-targeted formulations are under development to treat glioblastoma, CNS lymphoma and melanoma that has spread to the CNS.
Our target, the endothelin B receptor (ETBR), has been linked to melanoma and other cancers in over 200 peer-reviewed publications. It causes uncontrolled cancer growth, drives cancers to spread through the body, and prevents the immune system from detecting and killing cancer cells. However, no drug specifically blocking the ETBR has ever been brought to market or even tested in clinical trials for cancer. Drugs that blocked other receptors in the same family failed in clinical trials for cancer because, unlike our therapies, they actually prevent the immune system from killing cancer cells.
Our lead product ENB-003 specifically blocks the ETBR and is proven to help otherwise ineffective immunotherapies kill cancer cells. ENB-003 is derived from a compound with an established safety profile in humans and, unlike approved drugs on the market that kill many normal cells in the body, it is anticipated to stimulate the immune system to only target and kill cancer cells.
Our products, as combination therapy with immuno-oncology agents, create a new and superior standard of care that blocks key mechanisms of drug resistance, stimulates the immune system to fight cancer, and prevents cancer from spreading.
We have the key to unlock the full therapeutic potential
of immuno-oncology platforms.
Sumayah Jamal, MD, PhD, President, Co-founder, Chief Scientific Officer
- Research career spanning 30+ years
- Co-inventor on first patents field covering the endothelin B receptor as a therapeutic target of cancer
- Work conducted as a Principal Investigator at NYU School of Medicine serves as the foundation for the drug development programs of
- The American Academy of Dermatology Young Investigator Award
- The American Academy of Dermatology Everett C. Fox M.D. Award
- The Pan American Society for Pigment Cell Research Young
Sandy Harm, Chief Operating Officer
- 24 years as a senior executive at Merc
- Pharmaceutical and healthcare leader with extensive experience in Research and Development Operations from bench to commercialization
- Strong background in clinical research, Investigator-Initiated Studies, customer interactions, project management, launch planning, medical affairs strategy, operations and planning, and compliant business practices and sales
- Broad-based disease area experience, with particular expertise in oncology (10+ years), and 15+ years of customer interactions
- Oversaw launch and development of Keytruda
Robert Schneider, PhD, Co-founder, Chair of Scientific Advisory Board
- Associate Dean, Office of Therapeutics Alliances, NYUMC, Associate Director for Translational Research, NYU Cancer Institute, Director, Breast Cancer Program, Albert Sabin Professor of Molecular Pathogenesis
- Senior Principal Investigator, oversees Drug Discovery and Development programs at NYUMC
- Strong track record of licensing inventions and intellectual property to industry and investment partners
- Co-founder of numerous successful biopharma start-up companies including ImClone, Canji, and PTC Therapeutics