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Asfar S. Azmi, PhD

Azmi

Wayne State University, Detroit

Azmi is an assistant professor in the Department of Oncology at Wayne State University’s School of Medicine. In collaboration with Ramzi Mohammad (below), he has worked extensively in the area of small-molecule-inhibitor drug development. This has led to rapid clinical translation of Selinexor, a new drug in Phase Ib/II trials at Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit.

Azmi has published more than 90 peer-reviewed articles and numerous editorials in journals.

 

RESEARCH FUNDED BY SKY FOUNDATION, INC.

PROJECT TITLE: PHASE IB/II CLINICAL STUDY USING SELINEXOR (KPT-330), GEMCITABINE HYDROCHLORIDE, AND PACLITAXEL ALBUMIN-STABILIZED NANOPARTICLE FORMULATION IN TREATING PATIENTS WITH METASTATIC PANCREATIC CANCER

PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATOR:

Asfar Azmi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Oncology, Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine

PROJECT SUMMARY:

Dr. Azmi and his team developed a novel small molecule drug that targets the nuclear protein export machinery

His team has shown that the nuclear protein export inhibitor (selinexor) is active against pancreatic cancer cell line models and tumor models

This work led to a clinical trial at Karmanos Cancer Institute and evaluable response was observed in patients with metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Dr. Azmi’s team is currently evaluating the underlying reasons for response to this drug and also identifying the causes of resistance to better screen patient population ideal for selinexor based trials

Seed funding from Sky Foundation resulted in a 2.4 million dollar grant awarded to Dr. Azmi from National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health (NIH)

 

PROJECT TITLE: A NOVEL THERAPY FOR PANCREATIC NEUROENDOCRINE TUMORS

PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATOR:

Asfar Azmi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Oncology, Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine

PROJECT SUMMARY:

Conduct research in the identification of novel therapeutic targets in pancreatic cancer subtypes

Dr. Azmi’s laboratory discovered two important proteins, the p21 activated kinase 4 (PAK4) and Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), that play a critical role in the development of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors

A drug has been identified that targets these two pancreatic cancer sustenance proteins. The drug is effective in blocking the growth of pancreatic cell lines and patients derived tumors

Plans are in the works to initiate a Phase I clinical study testing the safety and efficacy of the drug in patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors