Drug Discovery Chemistry

San Diego, CA. First-generation cancer immunotherapy agents have been primarily biologicals — monoclonal antibodies that block protein-protein interactions between T cell checkpoint receptors and their ligands. Recently, discovery efforts have focused on the development of immune-modulatory small molecules addressing a wide array of new immune-modulatory targets that can be used in combination with the biologicals. The Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s Drug Discovery Chemistry conference brought together developers and discovery scientists to share new targets, novel immune-modulatory inhibitors, and preclinical and clinical studies in combination with checkpoint antibodies. Progenra President Dr. Tauseef Butt spoke at this conference on “Small Molecule Ubiquitin Protease (USP7) Inhibitors with Immune Cell-Based Anti-Tumor Activity Superior to That of Biologicals” in the Ubiquitin Proteasome Inhibitors section. Dr. Suresh Kumar, Senior Director and Head of Discovery at Progenra, presented Progenra’s work on “Targeting the Tumor Microenvironment with Deubiquitinase Inhibitors for Cancer Immunotherapy” in the Small Molecules for Cancer Immunotherapy section of the meeting.