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Therapuetic Agent for B Cell Malignancies

Life Sciences
College of Medicine (COM)
Byrd, John
Chen, Ching-Shih
Muthusamy, Natarajan
Perrotti, Danilo
Licensing Manager
Ezzell, Janel

T2006-093 A small molecule that functions as an agonist of the sphingosine receptor mediated signaling and interferes with lymphocyte trafficking.

The Need

In 2020, there will be an estimated 200,000 new cases of blood cancer in the United States. Blood cancer such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL), and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are typically treated with a combination of chemotherapy, radiation, and biological therapy ( Still, an estimated 55,000 deaths will result from blood cancer this year ( These therapy methods are not only lacking in effectiveness, but they can also result in harmful side effects such as a suppressed immune system, pain, nausea, and much more. To increase the likelihood of survival, a new and more effective treatment that does not cause such harm to the patient needs to be developed.

    The Technology

    The Ohio State University researchers, led by Dr. John Byrd, discovered the sphingosine receptor agonist, FTY720, has therapeutic efficacy against B cell malignancies such as CLL, NHL, and ALL. FTY720 interferes with lymphocyte trafficking and can be used to activate PP2A and induce apoptosis in affected cells. In vitro studies on B cell CLL cell lines, B cell NHL cell lines, and ALL cell lines demonstrated significant growth inhibition and apoptosis of these cancerous cells. In vivo studies conducted on RAJI disseminated models of NHL/ALL mice demonstrated that FTY720 significantly prolongs survival in comparison to control mice. The results of these tests confirm that FTY720, in combination or alone, could be far more effective at treating blood cancers than current treatment methods.

    Commercial Applications

    • Leukemia therapeutics
    • Pharmaceuticals


    • Can activate PP2A for B-cell malignancies
    • Can be used to treat a variety of leukemia, including CLL, ALL, and NHL
    • Induces apoptosis in affected cells through unique pathways compared to other treatments