Project TitleTreatment of Multiple Myeloma using FDA-Approved HIV Drug
Track Code2011-013
Short Description

Novel strategy to compromise the metabolism of myeloma cells and induce tumor regression in multiple myeloma (MM) patients

#therapeutics #cancer #drugdiscovery


Northwestern researchers have developed a novel strategy to treat multiple myeloma. They capitalize on a fatal plasma cell malignancy characteristic, elevated glucose utilization which is intrinsic to the metabolic homeostasis, proliferation and survival of myeloma cells. The researchers determined that myeloma cells heavily rely on glucose transporter-4 (GLUT4) for supporting their elevated glucose consumption under basal conditions. Based on this finding, they identified an FDA-approved HIV protease inhibitor, ritonavir, which has previously been shown to elicit a selective, off-target inhibitory effect on GLUT4 in vivo. Ritonavir recapitulates the effects of GLUT4 knockdown, including reduced glucose consumption, viability, and proliferation.

TagsTHERAPEUTICS: drug discovery, THERAPEUTICS: cancer
Posted DateJan 31, 2012 3:15 PM


Samuel McBrayer
Steven Rosen*

Malathy Shanmugam*


  • Therapeutics: Anti-Cancer
  • Drug Development of Ritonavir
  • Drug Discovery for other small molecule or peptide-based inhibitors to GLUT8


  • Improved efficacy
  • Near-maximal selectivity for myeloma cells during diminished plasma insulin concentrations
  • Ability to predict patient response to GLUT4 targeting agents in any cancer by immune detection of abnormal GLUT4
  • Utilization of already FDA-approved drug


IP Status

A patent application has been filed

Contact Information

Michael Moore, PhD
Invention Manager
(p) (847) 491-4645