BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The winners of the 43 North competition are making big moves in Buffalo. “Oncolinx” is working to develop a drug to cure cancer here in Buffalo.
The magic behind the company’s research can be traced to a lab on University at Buffalo’s South Campus. Dr. Dhaval Shah is an Assistant Professor at University at Buffalo’s School of Pharmacy.
He is also working behind the scenes to develop the immunotherapies that helped Oncolinx to win this competition.
“It’s not rocket science. It’s harder than rocket science because we’ve already reached Mars,” said Dr. Shah. “This technology is very novel, because it specifically kills cancer cells and not other cells. So the toxicity which is synomous with baldness will be much less in this kind of a drug.”
There’s only a few peeople in the world who can create this and test it, and Dr. Shah is one of them. Here they produce antibodies that Oncolinx will take to the market. This kind of technology is considered “hot” in the world of pharmaceutical science right now. Dr. Shah said, “Anti-body drug conjugates have been around for some time, but in the last 5 years the technology has really picked up and is clinically viable.”
Three similar molecules that can fight three cancers have been approved for worldwide use. What makes Oncolinx’s technology so valuable is its potential to treat up to 30 forms of cancer.
Partnering with Roswell Park, the company has high hopes to start clinical trials in the next couple of years, something Shah says would happen only in Buffalo.
He said, “In the health science sector, people are moving from all over the world just to Buffalo because we have so many hospitals, so many great scientsts and I think in the future it can only be better in terms of drug development right here in Buffalo.”
The brains behind Oncolinx want to extend life, and make it a quality life for cancer patients. Shah said, “In my lifetime what i can see is cancer is not equal to having a death sentence. Cncer is just equal to having a disease in which we have medicines to cure it. You can still live a happy and long life with the medicines available.”