Published: Oct. 16, 2015
Prof. Tin Tin Su

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is impressed with the progress being made by a University of Colorado Boulder biotech start-up company on its quest to develop novel treatments for head and neck cancer.

The federal institute has awarded the company, SuviCa Inc., a $1.5 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research contract that will allow it to continue to develop a compound known as SVC112 that has been shown to enhance the anti-tumor effects of radiation in animal models of human head and neck cancer.

SuviCa was founded in Boulder in 2010 based on a novel drug-screening technology developed by CU-Boulder Professor Tin Tin Su, SuviCa co-founder and chief scientific officer.

While radiation is a regular therapy used to treat head and neck cancers, it also is associated with potentially devastating side effects and tumor recurrence, said SuviCa CEO Judy Hemberger. New treatments under development by Su and her colleagues involve small molecules that work with currently used cancer therapeutics to destroy tumors.