PittPharmacy PhD student Zhuoya Wan won a selective speaker award after an oral presentation on her project “Dual functional immunostimulatory polymeric prodrug carrier with pendent indoximod for enhanced cancer immunochemotherapy” at the 256th American Chemical Society (ACS) national meeting in San Diego, California. This national meeting attracts more than 12,000 worldwide chemists and pharmaceutical professionals from academia, government, and industry, aiming for promoting new multidisciplinary research by sharing the latest information in areas of their professional interest.

At ACS San Diego, editor of RxNet (London, UK) interviewed Wan about her work into Indoximod, a promising therapeutic anti-cancer agent, and approaches to improve its formulation and delivery. RxNet is an online community that aims to advance the ever-changing field of drug discovery through publishing up-to-date news, expert interviews and editorials.

Wan has successfully developed a pro-drug polymeric micelle system to co-deliver IDO inhibitor Indoximod, and another chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin (DOX). Wan found that simultaneous incorporation of a special formulated small molecule, indoximod, in the nanocarrier could synergistically enhance ICD by interrupting a key immune suppressive pathway called the IDO pathway. Interference in immune suppression is important for sustaining the immune response. This novel developed nanoparticle showed significant synergistic effect of Indoximod and DOX with enhanced efficacy of single agent, which thereby opens new avenues for combinational strategies in future cancer immunochemotherapy.

Professor Song Li, MD, PhD
is Wan’s faculty advisor.

Leave a comment