BAWA Initiative  

The primary objective BAWA initiative is to advance the First “Combi-molecule” drug  for the treatment of glioblastoma (GBM) 

Glioblastoma (GBM) is one of the most aggressive brain tumor with desperate therapeutic needs. Fifty percent of primary brain tumours are gliomas, and 50% of these are GBMs. The main treatment involves surgery, followed by radiation and intensive chemotherapy with a drug called Temodal. These therapies only give an average of 1.5-year survival.  The reason why these therapies fail is because the tumours make two proteins called MGMT and EGFR, which can protect them against Temodal.

Patients with tumours that express MGMT and EGFRVIII are extremely resistant to Temodal. Importantly, high relapse rate of GBM is mediated by glioma stem cells (GSCs) that resist Temodal and Radiation. 

To face the challenges presented by GBM, The Cancer Therapeutics Team (McGill researchers and clinicians) has developed a new “combi-molecule”, capable of damaging DNA and blocking the effects of the EGFR protein in one strike to force the tumour cells to undergo “suicide”.

Our team have now identified drug candidate called ZR2002 that can: (a) block  the EGFR (b) damage DNA to force the tumour cells to die by apoptosis, (c) potently kill GBM in GSCs that test positive for MGMT and EGFRvIII, in a clinically relevant intracranial brain tumour model in mice and (d) Given orally and traverse the blood-brain barrier easily.

BAWA Initiative aim at increase brain tumor awareness and raise funds to bring this novel and unique drug to GBM patients and begin a phase I clinical trial in GBM.