Drug Combinations to Overcome Resistance to BRAF and MEK Inhibitors

Technology #d-1172

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Sanjay Srivastava
Dr. Sanjay K. Srivastava is a Professor of Biomedical Sciences specializing in Cancer Biology, Chemoprevention and Therapeutics. Prior to his arrival at TTUHSC, Dr. Srivastava served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine from 2000-2007 and was a full member of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. He did his post-doc from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Texas from 1992-1995. Dr. Srivastava’s research is focused on melanoma, pancreatic, ovarian and breast cancer and is funded by grants from the National Cancer Institute, NIH. He has authored more than 100 research papers and is the Editor of three books. Dr. Srivastava is in the editorial board of several journals and is the member of societies including American Association for Cancer Research, Society of Toxicology and AAPS. He also serves in the grant review panels of National Institute of Health (NIH), Department of Defense and Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. His research work has been featured by news agencies including BBC, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, Science News etc.
External Link (www.ttuhsc.edu)
Fofaria Neel
Graduate Student, School of Pharmacy
Patent Protection

Provisional Patent Application Filed 62/172,327


The drug Vemurafenib is one of the few treatment options for late-stage melanoma currently available. However, upon either single or chronic treatment with Vemurafenib, the cancer cells develop mechanisms of resistance to the drug.  Other drugs available in the market such as Mek1/2 inhibitors and BRAF inhibitors fail to overcome Vemurafenib resistance.

This invention has identified the mechanism that creates the resistance to Vemurafenib for the treatment of melanoma, and the class of drugs that are used in combination with Vemurafenib will prevent resistance.  The research has identified individual compounds within the class that have proved most effective for treatment of melanoma in combination with Vemurafenib, improving prognosis for patients and reducing the chance of relapse.

Reference Number: D-1172

Market Applications:

  • Cancer treatment
  • Biotechnology research

Features, Benefits & Advantages:

  • Combats resistance to Vemurafenib
  • May prevent resistance if included in initial treatment regimen
  • May have applicability across other cancer types

Intellectual Property:

  • A U.S. Provisional Patent application, Serial 62/172,327 was filed on 6/8/15.

Development Stage:

  • This invention has been reduced to practice in preliminary in vitro and in vivo studies and undergoing continued development.


  • Sanjay Srivastava, Ph. D., Professor and Associate Academic Dean,, School of Pharmacy, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, Texas.
  • Fofaria Neel, Graduate Student, School of Pharmacy, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, Texas.

Keywords: BRAF inhibitor, Vemurafenib