- Developing a new class of selective tumor chemo/radiosensitizers. Currently, physicians treat adult and pediatric primary CNS tumors with radiosurgery. However, radiotherapy alone is not an effective treatment for Glioblastoma due to radiation induced-DNA repair mechanisms that permit brain tumor cells to become tolerant to high radiation doses. Athena’s goal is to develop a drug to selectively inhibit this type of repair process and thus sensitize glioma tumor cells to radiotherapy.
- Increased potency and reduced side effects. Athena identified an inhibitory molecule which is currently being optimized for improved potency and reduced off-target effects. Once fully developed, this compound will serve as a novel therapeutic which when used in combination with radiotherapy will shrink Glioblastoma tumors to extend the lifespan of patients.
- Athena’s cofounders consist of a physician scientist who is a leader in DNA repair mechanisms and a Yale-trained molecular biologist turned enterpreneur. Athena has support from scientists with expertise in biological assay development, high throughput screening and medicinal chemistry at the Yale Center for Molecular Discovery.
Athena was spun out of a project with the Program in Innovative Therapeutics for Connecticut’s Health (PITCH) and continues to collaborate closely with the Yale Center Molecular Discovery and the Bindra lab.
In the News
Athena submitted an application for most recent STTR funding cycle.