Vuja De is dedicated to developing cancer metastasis treatments that prevent cancer progression and recurrence. Our strategy is to develop products first for osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer that largely effects adolescents, and then extend to other cancers. We utilize leading laboratory technologies for metastatic preclinical endpoints in combination with Comparative Oncology to de-risk and inform product development and maximize likelihood for successful human oncology clinical trials. We are testing repurposed drugs that have previously been in human clinical trials, as well as novel preclinical drugs.
In Comparative Oncology, canine patients with naturally occurring cancer are included in clinical trials for benefit of humans and human's best friend. Dog osteosarcoma is highly relevant to human osteosarcoma; drugs effective in the dog are highly relevant to the human. A further advantage of dogs that is crucial in cancer recurrence trials is the that fact that in dogs the cancer process is sped up, so that what happens over a time frame of a few years in humans is compressed into months in dogs.
Central to this recurrence are disseminated tumor cells that survive and remain dormant for potentially many years (like “ticking time-bombs”) at secondary sites such as the lungs and liver.
Current approaches used for cancer maintenance therapy and adjuvant therapy target the same mechanisms applied to either primary tumors or macro-metastatic tumors. They were not designed to specifically address the unique process of metastasis of disseminated tumor cells at the secondary sites.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
"The best way to predict the future is to create It."
"It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best."
W. Edwards Deming
"I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.”