In 2016 the EHERCC, together with our USA and Australian sister foundations, funded a two-year post-doc researcher in Dr Rubin’s EHE research team at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr Che has been working over the past 18 months to develop a drug screening assay to test a large number of potentially therapeutic compounds to see if they have any impact on the WWTR1(TAZ)-CAMTA1 fusion protein that is believed to be a key driver of EHE. The assay is now complete and Dr Che hopes to be testing compounds throughout February next year. The original plan was to test 50,000 but Dr Rubin hopes that this number may become even greater. If any of these compounds are shown to bind to the fusion protein, which is a key driving force of EHE, then greater analysis of the compound and the impact it may have will follow with a view to hopefully developing a therapeutic drug that can help start to manage EHE.
Dr Rubin said “we have worked very hard to design and create a very precise assay. There were some big challenges but they have been met and we are all excited to see what results we get when we start the actual drug screening”. So Q1 next year will be an important period in the compound-screening schedule! This project of course has a special place for our EHE community because of our help in funding Dr Che. We hope to see positive results over the next two months or so, and wish Dr Rubin and Dr Che every success with their work.