CharlestonPharma, LLC


CharlestonPharma is focused on developing innovative therapeutic antibodies and related diagnostic tests for cancer patients and healthcare providers.

Laboratory studies provide compelling evidence that inhibition of the cell surface target, nucleolin, selectively kills a variety of cancer cells without dose-limiting toxicity to the normal cells of the body. With an exclusive worldwide license from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) for eight specific antibodies as well as the process to make additional fully-human antibodies to this target and worldwide exclusive licenses to the method of treating cancer with an anti-nucleolin antibody and the method for for the diagnosis and prognosis of malignant disease which includes the detection of nucleolin in the cell surface of a patient’s tumor cells tissue biopsy, we are focused on demonstrating preclinical proof of concept for our anti-nucleolin monoclonal antibodies. Research in our laboratories at the Charleston Innovation Center is designed to identify the most promising antibodies for subsequent in vivo studies that will establish preclinical efficacy and safety.

Once preclinical proof of concept is established, we plan to commence discussions with major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies regarding collaboration on further development and commercialization of these promising antibodies.

Our founders have over 100 years of product development experience with numerous Investigational New Drug applications (INDs), New Drug Applications (NDAs) and many pharmaceutical licensing deals to their credit.

About Nucleolin in the Surface of Cancer Cells

Nucleolin is a major phosphoprotein of the nucleolus and the nuclear matrix of mammalian cells. In normal cellular biochemistry, nucleolin is a remarkably multi-functional and dynamic protein shuttling between the nucleus and cytoplasm and is involved in ribosome biogenesis, DNA replication, transcription, mRNA stabilization, translation, chromatin remodeling, apoptosis, cytokinesis, protein trafficking and telomere maintenance. In normal cells, nucleolin is an intracellular protein and is usually not detected on the external cell surface. However, in a wide range of different types of cancers including solid tumors and hematological malignancies, nucleolin is also present at high levels on the external surface of the cancer cells. This distinction in cell surface expression between cancer and normal cells makes nucleolin a high value target for cancer therapy with a mAb, as this therapy is predicted to kill the cancer cell while sparing normal cells of the body (“targeted therapy”). There is mounting evidence that overexpression of nucleolin on the surface of the cancer cell serves as a receptor for various ligands that play a direct role in the process of malignant transformation and progression. Thus, detection of nucleolin on the cell surface of cancer cells can serve as a biomarker useful for identifying tumor types, and patients within that tumor type, who are likely to benefit from therapy with an anti-nucleolin mAb (“personalized therapy”).



Upper Left - A lovely street side garden in Charleston, SC

Upper right - Our founders (l to r) Daniel J. Fernandes, Ph.D., D.Sc., Bradford S. Goodwin and Robert L. Capizzi, M.D.

Lower right - (l to r) Dan and Bob