This week in therapeutics




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Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

c-Mer proto-oncogene tyrosine kinase (MERTK)

In vitro and mouse studies suggest inhibiting MERTK could help treat ALL. In pediatric B cell ALL (B-ALL) cells, small hairpin RNA against MERTK sensitized the cells to chemotherapeutics and increased apoptosis compared with control shRNA. In a mouse xenograft model of human ALL, expression of MERTK-targeted shRNA increased survival compared with expression of control shRNA. Ongoing studies include developing MERTK inhibitors for clinical testing.

SciBX 6(32); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.851
Published online Aug. 22, 2013

Patented by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Meryx Inc. is licensing the IP; available for partnerships

Linger, R.M.A. et al. Blood; published online July 16, 2013;
Contact: Douglas K. Graham, University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colo.