Texas Heart Institute Discovery to Enhance the Immune System Moves Closer to Clinical Testing

A promising technology invented at the Texas Heart Institute is one step closer to being tested in a clinical study to develop new treatments that enhance the effectiveness of drug therapies that target the immune system for use in cancer and vaccines.


The technology was invented by a team of Texas Heart scientists including Dr. Ronald Biediger, Robert Market, Dr. Peter Vanderslice and Dr. Darren Woodside. It could help prime the body’s ability to fight infection and reduce cancerous tumors.


The lead molecule at the heart of the platform is a first in class activator of the immune system that will be evaluated in clinical trials this fall by 7 Hills Pharma.


After completing its 30-day safety review, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared the investigational new drug (IND) application for the THI discovery and granted approval for 7 Hills Pharma to proceed with a Phase 1 trial– the critical first step in the path to drug approval.


“Our invention has the potential to augment antigen-specific immune responses and may have important and timely applications for solid tumors and vaccines in development for at-risk elderly patients,” said Dr. Peter Vanderslice.


Dr. Vanderslice had spent his professional career leading teams focused on developing small-molecule compounds that target cell adhesion—a critical step in the progression of inflammatory diseases. He has significant experience with drug development –from discovery to clinical trials – and continues to provide guidance to the 7 Hills team testing the new therapeutic.


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7 Hills Pharma Announces FDA Clearance of Investigational New Drug Application for 7HP349, a First-in-Class Immune Stimulant