Navdeep Chandel, a mitochondrial researcher, has been named to the scientific advisory board of Penrose TherapeuTx, a Chicago and Plymouth Township-based pharmaceutical company focused on developing small-molecule therapies to fight cancer.
Chandel, with more than 20 years of experience in mitochondrial research, has contributed to significant breakthroughs in mitochondrial science, including understanding its role in cancer cells. His work helped established that both aerobic glycolysis and mitochondrial metabolism are both essential for tumor growth, giving scientists and doctors a better understanding of how cancer spreads within the body.
The appointment comes as Penrose TherapeuTx is advancing its Mitochondrial Modifying Agent research program that is testing the use of these agents to create selective mitochondrial vulnerability, which leads to the metabolic collapse of cancer cells. After promising preclinical results, Penrose TherapeuTx has developed a leading agent candidate to advance to clinical trials in the coming year.
“The Penrose clinical research platform of targeting mitochondria in cancer cells is not just novel but unprecedented, with very promising preclinical results to support the advancement of the pipeline,” says Chandel.
Chandel’s findings, published in the journal in Nature, proved the mitochondrial electron transport chain, commonly referred to as the ETC, is necessary for tumor growth. His findings also showed the inhibition of ETC has caused anti-tumor efficacy — meaning the tumor has less success in spreading — in combination with targeted therapies.
He is currently the David W. Cugell, M.D. Professor of Medicine Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He also founded the Chandel Laboratory at Northwestern.
“Dr. Chandel has long been on the forefront of mitochondrial research and the role they play in cancer cells, which is extremely relevant to our cutting-edge MMA platform developed to tackle complex cancers,” says Mark de Souza, CEO at Penrose TherapeuTx. “We will continue building our scientific leadership team, and Dr. Chandel’s deep domain knowledge will undoubtedly help our veteran research team more rapidly advance our science and pipeline.”
Chandel has a degree from the University of Chicago in mathematics and Ph.D. in cell physiology.