Mysuru, Jan 11: Just days after the successful culmination of 103rd Indian Science Congress, University of Mysore (UoM) landed a significant project in aid of cancer treatment.
Senior scientist and UoM Vice-Chancellor Prof K S Rangappa said the project will be jointly funded by the Israel Science Foundation and University Grants Commission (ISF-UGC).
The international collaborative project has been sanctioned under a grant of over Rs 1 crore for a period of 3 years. The project is titled: Development of Inhibitors of Heparanase for Cancer Therapy.
The project will have two Principal Investigators (PIs) - with Prof Rangappa from Indian and Prof Israel Vlodavsky from the Cancer and Vascular Biology Research Center, Technion, Israel.
Significant step in aid of mankind: V-C
"It's a significant step in the direction of cancer cure. We are delighted to be part of an international effort aimed at helping mankind. The programme mainly aims to encourage research collaboration between Israeli and Indian scientists," Prof Rangappa told Oneindia.
As per the records available on the public domain, Prof Rangappa has 10 patents related to development of anticancer agents, in addition to over 400 research papers related to medicinally important compounds also called as therapeutic agents.
Many of the patented molecules developed by Prof Rangappa are in clinical trials against different types of cancers.
Prof Vlodavsky a pioneer in cancer research
On the other hand, Prof Vlodavsky has over 400 research papers and is a pioneer in the field of establishing the role of heparanase in cancer progression.
"In cancer cells, heparanase enzyme (kinva) catalyzes the cleavage of heparan sulfate which results in dislodging of cells from the primary tumor leading to metastasis and spreading of tumor to other organs (advancement of cancer to higher stages)," says Prof Rangappa.
Designing of heparanase inhibitors is excellent therapeutic strategy to treat cancer.
From the Indian side Prof Rangappa will be aided by a team consisting of Dr Basappa and Dr Mohan C D.
OneIndia had recently featured Dr Mohan who had networked with Nobel Laureates for over six months for the Science Congress. (When 2 Mysuru boys won the hearts of Nobel Laureates!)
In their role aiding the PI, the duo has to identify and synthesize the chemical scaffolds with potential heparanase inhibitory activity using computational techniques. Later the team has to screen them for their anticancer activity and in vitro enzyme inhibitory activity.
Path-breaking research on the cards
The Israel counterpart will work on in vivo efficacy of the identified lead compounds and possible advancement to clinics.
Speaking to OneIndia, Dr Mohan said the project findings could be path-breaking in the field of cancer research.
"It is challenging, but we are geared up to dive deep into this project considering the priceless significance it has in aiding mankind," Dr Mohan said.
During the Science Congress, Cancer Science Institute of Singapore PI Peter E. Lobie had has spoken about the progress being made by UoM on this front.