Developing More Effective Treatment Options for Resistant Forms of Cancer by Targeting RECQ1

SLU ID 18-012 | Small Molecule Inhibitors of The Human RECQ1 Helicase

Intellectual Property Status


  • Provisional patent application submitted
  • Know-how based
  • Licensee
  • Development partner
  • Commercial partner
  • Investment
  • University spin out


DNA replication inhibitors are widely used for treatment of advanced cancers. However, they exhibit high cytotoxicity in many normal cell types. Some cancer cell lines exhibit reduced growth and an increased cell death when RECQ1 expression is inhibited by RNAi. Normal cells do not exhibit this characteristic. Shutting down the expression of RECQ1 leads to chromosomal instability and chemosensitivity in cultured cells.


Researchers at Saint Louis University have developed specific inhibitors of RECQ1. They have demonstrated through in vitro experiments that the molecules inhibit a key factor in the replication stress response to cancer chemotherapeutics. Using these small molecules inhibitors will increase the sensitivity of cancer cells to DNA-damaging agents, thus allowing better treatment options for patients with resistant forms of cancer.


The potential advantages of this technology over existing solutions include:

  • Increasing cancer cells sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents.
  • Increasing treatment options for resistant forms of cancer.
  • Increasing the effectiveness of existing DNA-damaging chemotherapeutics.


Potential applications of this technology include:

  • Developing more effective treatment options for patients with resistant forms of cancer.


Saint Louis University is seeking partners to further develop and commercialize this technology.