Michael J. Powell

Michael J. Powell

CSO Diacarta Inc., USA

Title: Preclinical studies of a new genetic prodrug activation system


Dr. Michael J. Powell, Ph.D. serves as the Chief Scientific Officer of DiaCarta Inc. Dr. Powell is a highly recognized scientific and business leader with extensive knowledge and experience in management of molecular diagnostic assays research and development, qPCR and other nucleic acid amplification technologies and automated instrumentation platforms. Dr. Powell first introduced a rapid homogeneous mutation analysis method in his article, Detection of the Hereditary.


Minor groove binding DNA alkylating agents typifi ed by CC-1065 and duocarmycin analogs have been studied in the past by several groups as potential potent anti-cancer drugs. However, their clinical utility has been hindered by the systemic toxicity observed at therapeutic doses. We have developed a novel approach to delivering these class of agents selectively to cancer cells 'in vivo.' Using a a novel gene directed enzyme prodrug therapy (GDEPT) approach that employs an enzyme fragment complementation strategy. Several novel enzyme activatable prodrugs of seco-CBI DNA minor groove binding alkylators have been synthesized and used in a new GDEPT approach that has been validated in human tumor xenograft models. Th is approach will be described and its potential for the targeted therapy of cancer discussed.

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