Inhibition of FTO with Entacapone to Treat Glioblastoma


Glioblastoma is one of the most aggressive and lethal human tumors. We are investigating the use of an FDA-approved drug, Entacapone, to treat glioma tumors.

Market Opportunity

Glioblastoma, one of the most aggressive forms of cancer, has a survival rate of only 14–15 months after diagnosis. There is an urgent need for effective therapies for glioblastoma.

Innovation and Meaningful Advantages

Glioblastoma’s lethality is due to the presence of tumor propagating GSCs, which are characterized by the ability to self-renew, proliferate indefinitely, and potentially to differentiate into different cell types. We have shown that the fat mass and obesity-associated protein (FTO) demethylates specific mRNAs in GSCs. It is also overexpressed in GSCs, contributing to the heterogeneity of the tumors. However, FTO’s potential as a therapeutic target for glioblastoma is not known. We are investigating whether inhibition of FTO with Entacapone decreases the expression of genes regulating cancer stem cell identity, propagation, and self-renewal, thereby inhibiting glioblastoma growth and recurrence.

Our project has tremendous therapeutic potential, as we are using an FDA-approved drug, Entacapone, which is used to treat patients with Parkinson’s. Though it has been shown to inhibit FTO, its potential to treat glioma tumors has not yet been studied.

Collaboration Opportunity

We are interested in exploring 1) startup opportunities with investors; 2) research collaborations with leading pharmaceutical companies; and 3) licensing opportunities with companies.

Principal Investigator

Nikos Tapinos, MD, PhD

Sidney A. Fox and Dorothea Doctors Fox Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Visual Science, and Neuroscience

Brown University

IP Information

PCT Application Filed, Priority Date: April 15, 2021


Andrew Bond, PhD

Senior Director of Business Development,

Brown Tech ID 3126J


Contact Information

TTO Home Page:

Name: Andrew Bond

Title: Director of Business Development – Life Sciences