The Innovators: OncoSynergy

In our latest series, “The Bitch Is Back,” we have heard from community members about “The Problem,” their struggles with cancer recurrence. We’ve heard from the expert, Dr. Rachna Shroff, to better understand how cancer recurrence happens and how treatment options can be limited and differ from original curative plans.

Now what?

Our mission at The Lowdown on Cancer is to inspire and empower individuals touched by cancer to take an active role in bringing innovation to patients. And in order to do that, we bring those innovators right to you. 

To round out our “Bitch Is Back” series, we will share four unique innovators looking to shake up the world of cancer recurrence and treatment. Offering real change: More Than Hope.

Our first such innovator, Dr. Anne-Marie Carbonell, is working to change the trajectory of cancer recurrence. Dr. Carbonell is Co-Founder and the Chief Executive Officer of OncoSynergy, a trained neurosurgeon, the principal investigator of two active NIH grants, and is a founding member of the Society of Neuro-oncology Committee for Women & Diversity.

Having a severe auto-immune disorder herself, Dr. Carbonell understands inherently what it’s like to be both a physician and a patient, specifically one enrolled in a phase 1 clinical trial, as well. As a neurosurgeon, Dr. Carbonell felt driven by her desire to help. She focused on one of the most difficult cancers: glioblastoma. Dr. Carbonell’s great frustration is that she and her colleagues “could not cure brain cancer with a scalpel.” They need other, better options. 

The fundamental problem with many current approaches to cancer treatments, is that they lead to aggressive recurrence due to the therapeutic resistance. In fact, therapeutic resistance is the number one cause of death in cancer patients. According to Dr. Carbonell, 90% of glioblastoma patients become resistant to first line treatment. 

Enter OncoSynergy. The work being done by OncoSynergy addresses the fundamental cancer driver – cancer’s “achilles heel” – to cut off multiple biological processes simultaneously with a single therapeutic. CD29, a cell surface receptor in the body, is the key gatekeeper between cancer and it’s survival mechanisms. Anti-CD29 therapeutics quarantine the cancer cell from its surrounding microenvironment, effectively cutting off the cancer. 

Dr. Carbonell leads the FDA Investigational New Drug approval of OS2966, a first-in-class anti-CD29 (Beta 1 integrin) monoclonal antibody, from pre-clinical stage to phase 1 clinical trials in recurrent glioblastoma.

While The Lowdown aims to inspire and empower, The Cancer fund is driven to fund and support innovative early stage cancer companies, like OncoSynergy, to directly impact the lives of patients. 

Please watch our complete interview with Dr. Anne-Marie Carbonell below, and stay tuned for the rest of the innovators we are considering funding in this important series. 

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