Office for Technology Commercialization

CD44 Specific Antagonists

Technology #20160342

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CD44 Antagonists
Barry Finzel, PhD
Professor, Graduate Studies Director, Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy
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Managed By
Raj Udupa
Technology Licensing Officer 612-624-3966
Patent Protection

US Patent Pending

Higher Affinity CD44 Antagonists

CD44 receptors, abundant on cancer cell surfaces, promote cell adhesion, metastasis and tumor growth. Selective antagonists of the CD44-HA (hyaluronic acid) interaction could help distinguish CD44-specific effects from interactions between HA and other receptors and prove valuable in cancer treatment and atherosclerotic research. While 5- or 8-amino-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinolines (5a- or 8a-THIQ) show only modest affinity for CD44 (400-800uM), this new technology provides 8-amino isomers (THIQ-HA disaccharide and tetrasaccharide conjugates) expected to have at least a 10-fold higher affinity for CD44, showing promise as more potent antagonists of HA binding.

Selectively Antagonize CD44-HA Interaction

Currently, no alternatives to these CD44 antagonists exist. Small molecule agents such as those in this technology provide distinct advantages over either biotherapeutics (cost), or oligosaccharide (selectivity) alternatives, and represent the first known molecules to selectively antagonize the HA interaction at CD44 only.


  • CD44-HA (hyaluronic acid) specific binding
  • Higher affinity for CD44
  • Potent antagonists of HA binding


  • Cancer treatment
  • Atherosclerotic research
  • Studying CD44-HA specific effects

Phase of Development - Lead optimization