Only program to develop a new drug for kidney cancer going from gene discovery to clinical trials

UTSW scientists discovered HIF-2a (EPAS1 gene), recognized a vulnerability in the protein structure, identified chemicals that exploited the vulnerability blocking protein function, and founded Peloton Therapeutics, Inc, in the UTSW BioCenter, which developed a drug (PT2977), now in clinical trials. The drug targets the most important driver of kidney cancer. All FDA-approved drugs for kidney cancer have been developed by industry (axitinib, bevacizumab, cabozantinib, everolimus, interleukin-2, levantinib, nivolumab, pazopanib, sorafenib, sunitinib, temsirolimus).