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Cancer Research Critical For Drug-Delivery Systems

Om Perumal, who is the new head of the pharmaceutical sciences department, and assistant professor Hemachand Tummala have developed drug-delivery systems through their work with the Translational Cancer Research Center, one of the most successful of the 2010 Governor Research Centers. Perumal's research focuses on drug-delivery systems for breast, prostate and skin cancer as well as other skin diseases. He has formed a startup company, Tranzderm Solutions, which has had an off-campus lab since 2012 to commercialize his technologies. The company mainly focuses on novel drug delivery technologies for various skin diseases. Recently Medgene labs of Brookings along with Tranzderm Solutions was the recipient of an NIH-SBIR award for developing new delivery systems for lymphedema, a condition seen in breast cancer patients. Tummala, who received the 2013 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Innovation in Biotechnology Award, has developed a vaccine delivery system that ramps up the body's natural immune response. The technology has been licensed to Medgene Labs of Brookings. Tummala's work focuses on improving the effectiveness of influenza vaccine (H1N1) with Dr. Victor Huber, assistant professor at the Sanford School of Medicine, and applying the technology to throat cancer caused by the human papilloma virus with Dr. John Lee of Sanford Health, who specializes in head and neck cancers.