Preclinical Evaluation of a Long-circulating and Non-immunogenic Drug for the Treatment of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)


To perform the chemical synthesis, characterization, and preclinical studies on an improved drug for treating acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

Anticipated Impact: 

Provide treatment options for ALL patients for whom current drugs lack efficacy


Therapies for treating acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) often fail or lack the desired efficacy due to rapid immune-related clearance of a critical component of the drug cocktail. Efforts to improve the low half-life of these drugs have made incremental progress, but there remains a significant ALL patient population for which there is no alternative if the currently available drugs are not effective. Zwitter Technology will assess a novel approach for shielding the immunogenic epitopes of the drug from the body’s immune system, thereby decreasing immune-related clearance and increasing the efficacy of the drug. Successful demonstration of this capability will not only be important for ALL, but it will have a broad potential for improving half-life and reducing immunogenicity of many pharmaceutical agents. This grant will support focused preclinical studies evaluating the benefits of this technology for ALL treatment. 

Matthew Manganiello replaced Jeffrey Chamberlain as principal investigator in June 2014 due to Dr. Chamberlain’s departure from Zwitter Technology. George Sellhorn replaced Dr. Manganiello as principal investigator in January 2015 due to Dr. Manganiello’s departure from Zwitter Technology. 

Cancer Diagnostics, Therapeutics

Grant Update

Principal Investigator:
George Sellhorn
Grantee Organization:
Zwitter Technology
Grant Title:
Preclinical Evaluation of a Long-circulating and Non-immunogenic Drug for the Treatment of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Grant Cohort and Year:
2014 Proof of Concept (03)
Grant Period:
07/15/2014 - 07/14/2016 (Completed)
Grant Amount:
The outcome of the grant to date is that we have made substantial progress developing and testing our novel, bioconjugate drug needed urgently for the treatment of leukemia. This LSDF grant has allowed us to determine multiple important parameters with regard to the "behavior" of the drug in animal models. This project has laid strong foundation for the commercialization of this unique drug.

Impact in Washington

Location of LSDF Grantee
Locations of Collaborations/Areas of Impact

Legislative Districts:
11, 34, 36, 37, 43, 46

Health Impacts

Cancer Diagnostics, Therapeutics