Therapeutics for Sex Steroid-driven Cancers

Track Code: 

The invention offers novel composition of matter to be used in treatment of a number of hormone responsive cancers.


Cytochrome P450 17A1 (CYP17A1) is an enzyme that is essential for the production of both androgenic and estrogenic sex steroid hormones. The concentration of these hormones has been implicated as a factor in carcinogenesis of some types of cancer. Therefore, inhibiting CYP17A1 could prove an important step in the fight against certain types of cancer.

The current invention rationally designs novel compositions of matter in order to inhibit CYP17A1 while leaving CYP21A2 relatively unaltered. The design of these compounds allows for the treatment of certain types of cancer while limiting the occurrence of side effects seen with previously used compounds.


The invention is to be used as a treatment or co-treatment for, but not limited to, breast cancer and prostate cancer.

How it works: 

The compounds were designed to inhibit CYP17A1 while leaving CYP21A2 uninhibited. A rational design was utilized due to the similar active sites of the two enzymes. This prevents CYP17A1 from producing sex steroid hormones while not inhibiting CYP21A2 from remaining active in synthesizing metabolic drivers such as cortisol.


This invention allows for the decrease in production of sex steroid hormones while leaving CYP21A2 relatively unaltered.

Why it is better: 

By CYP21A2 remaining active, side effects such as acute hypertension are decreased. However, with the rational drug design the cancer fighting benefits remain.

Other Applications: 

These compounds could be used not only for a number of cancers but also for hormone therapies.

Licensing Associate: 
Aswini Betha, PhD · · 913-588-5713
Emily Scott
Jeffrey Aubé
Charlie Fehl
US 20160031929