Taking Aim at Cancer and Diabetes

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Cancer and diabetes are leading causes of death and disability. Dr. Catherine Yang, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, hopes research conducted by her drug discovery company, DNJ Pharma Inc., will lead to more effective treatments for these diseases.

Located in the Rohrer College of Business Incubator in the South Jersey Technology Park, the biopharmaceutical company is dedicated to discovering and inventing effective therapeutics for a range of medical needs through innovative and translational research.

liver_highlightedThe company already has identified lead compounds that may become potential drugs to slow the progression of prostate and liver cancer. It also is developing a novel compound for diabetes that has demonstrated promising results in regulating the growth of beta cells, which may increase insulin secretion, decrease gastric emptying and reduce blood glucose levels. “We have completed the discovery stage and would like to move on to preclinical trials if further funding is secured,” Yang said.

Yang is encouraged by the company’s early results. “I believe we will discover and develop effective and safe therapeutic drugs for the medical field at our innovation site,” she said. “We’re very committed to combating these diseases to improve the quality of human health.”

On this mission, the startup’s location provides a wealth of opportunities. “We are surrounded by numerous pharmaceutical companies and other leading universities, so we can access many resources,” she said. “In addition, the South Jersey business community promotes entrepreneurship, and the South Jersey Technology Park plays a very active role in connecting Rohrer College of Business Incubator companies.”