Altogen Laboratory Testing of Known Compounds for Cancer Treatment Efficacy

Sodium dichloroacetate (DCA) has been investigated as a novel cancer therapy since 2007 when Bonnet et al published research study demonstrating the efficacy of DCA in treating human cancers by inhibition of mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK). Altogen Labs, an Austin-based biotechnology and preclinical research company, performed an independent study exploring potential novel and accessible cancer treatment options based on structurally modified DCA analogues. The results of the study identified two cationic dichloric compounds, referred to as DCAH and DCMAH, as potential candidates for further investigation. The study, recently published in Cancer Biology & Therapy, demonstrated in vivo efficacy of structurally modified analogs (DCAH and DCMAH) in U87 human glioblastoma xenograft model. The anti-tumor effect is comparable to both DCA and the well-known chemotherapy drug bevacizumab used for treatment of glioblastoma.

Dr. Dmitriy Ovcharenko, Altogen Labs corresponding author of the article, described that this work was performed in collaboration with National Cancer Institute’s Developmental Therapeutics Program (NIH). Of the three primary characteristics varied in our test compounds (charge/polarity, electron distribution, and spatial arrangement), reversing the charge compared with DCA produced the largest effect on tumor viability. While these dichloric compounds were initially investigated due to their similarity to dichloroacetate (DCA), immunoblotting results suggested a cellular pathway effect for DCAH and DCMAH independent from that of DCA. According to Altogen Labs’ senior scientist Dr. Catrina Chitjian, this work suggests the clinical potential for DCAH and DCMAH as minimally toxic anti-cancer drugs and demonstrates the importance of additional studies. Interestingly, DCAH and DCMAH are simple small molecules traditionally used as building blocks for organic chemistry synthesis, which is promising for potentially inexpensive mass production.

About Altogen Labs

Altogen Labs is a GLP-compliant preclinical contract research laboratory dedicated to providing cutting edge research services in the fields of cancer, biomedical and pharmaceutical research. Company developed and validated over 120 xenograft models supplemented by both in vitro and in vivo efficacy assays, toxicology, gene expression, and gene function analyses. Altogen Labs provides wide range of biology CRO services including tox/pharm assays, biodistribution, and stable cell line development.


Alex Fanelli, PhD

Altogen Labs

11200 Manchaca Road, Suite 203

Austin TX 78748 USA

Tel. 512-433-6177