University of Illinois Licenses Novel Anti-Cancer Therapies to StemPar Sciences

URBANA, Ill. & SAN FRANCISCO--()--StemPar Sciences, Inc., the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois), and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) have entered into a license agreement through which StemPar Sciences plans to develop cancer therapeutics based on compounds designed by Professor Paul Hergenrother of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Professor David Boothman, the Robert B. and Virginia Payne Professor in Oncology and Associate Director for Translation Research at UTSW.

“We view this exclusive worldwide license as an important part of our growing cancer metabolism IP estate”

The quinone-based compounds exhibit potent anti-cancer activity by inducing programmed necrosis, meaning they activate the molecular pathway that causes the premature death of cancerous cells and tissue. The potency and selectivity of these new compounds rival commonly used chemotherapy agents by targeting solid tumors that have elevated levels of the enzyme NAD(P)H:quinone oxioreductase 1 (NQO1). Research indicates that the compounds are able to target a range of solid tumors that are considered difficult to treat, including pancreatic and lung cancers. Furthermore, research suggests that this new class of quinone-based compounds express greater potency than other molecules in the same class, such as β-lapachone. These findings, published in the June 15, 2012 issue of the journal Cancer Research, have shown great promise in pre-clinical testing in mice.

"We view this exclusive worldwide license as an important part of our growing cancer metabolism IP estate," said StemPar CEO Barry Sherman, MD. "Indeed, this intellectual property has the potential to become a vital ingredient in the quest to develop novel cancer medicines based on the science of cancer metabolism."

“We are proud to partner with StemPar Sciences to advance this promising research into new cancer therapies,” said Jen Rice, Technology Manager at Illinois’ Office of Technology Management. “We believe the alliance leverages our complimentary strengths and will accelerate the development of powerful new therapeutics."

About the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a world-class research institution boasting a respected faculty, high national rankings, and state-of-the art facilities. The University’s accomplishments include 22 Nobel Laureates among its faculty and alumni and such revolutionary innovations as the Web browser, new plant varieties and even the discovery of a third form of life. For more information about the Office of Technology Management at the University, please visit

About StemPar Sciences, Inc.: StemPar Sciences, Inc. is developing a pipeline of powerful, first-in-class cancer drugs that attack solid tumors by simultaneously disrupting their source of energy and defensive ability to hijack the body’s DNA-repair mechanism to regenerate when under assault. Stempar’s scientists and leadership team are at the forefront of transforming breakthrough scientific discoveries into life-saving medicines. For more information, please visit


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Jen Rice, Technology Manager, Office of Technology Management
StemPar Sciences, Inc.
Barry Sherman, CEO
John Schembri, CFO


Release Summary

Under a new license agreement, StemPar Sciences plans to develop cancer therapeutics based on compounds designed by researchers.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Office of Technology Management