Our Collaborations

KO Discovery and NewG Lab Pharma

What is Ko Discovery and NewG Lab Pharma?

My relationship with Dr. Ko began during my sons battle with FLC.  I found Dr. Ko to be extremely intelligent and approachable and motivated to have further conversations to not only try and help Robert but all those affected by Fibrolamellar.  Working diligently on perfecting her small molecule over the past 20 years learning from her mentor Dr. Pedersen at Johns Hopkins.  She has always shown great compassion for all cancer patients and in 2009 helped guide the treatment of a sixteen-year-old young man named Yvar Verhoeven diagnosed with FLC. Here, based on translational research, they reported results of a case study involving Yvar.  Thus, a bench side discovery in the Department of Biological Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine was taken effectively to bedside treatment at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt/Main Hospital, Germany.  The results obtained hold promise for 3BP as a future cancer therapeutic without apparent cyto-toxicity when formulated properly.  Dr. Ko has remained committed to perfecting her compound and has recently received FDA approvals so clinical trial may begin soon here in the U.S.  She has been an outstanding collaborator in pursuing better options for our Fibrolamellar patients and their families.  Click here to learn more https://www.kodiscovery.org/projects-3 

Two years ago, she began collaborating with Dr. Robert Nagourney and FibroFighters by supplying his lab with the compound and providing key guidelines to optimize its use in FLC patients functional tumor profiling.  During the past two years the Nagourney Cancer Institute has tested KAT-101 against many of our FibroFighters viable tumor tissues and have found the overwhelming majority showed sensitives to the compound.  Interestingly Dr. Nagourney not only used the compound for Fibrolamellar assays but included the KAT-101 compound for many other cancer types.  To date Dr. Nagourney has found sensitivities to 15 other cancer types using KAT-101.  Some of these included Pancreatic, Non-small-cell-lung cancer, AML and uterine just to name a few.  Below is a link to a poster Dr. Nagourney and his son presented at AACR this past April in New Orleans. It must be emphasized these were lab results using patients live viable cells and only a well-designed clinical trial will be able to determine its efficacy inside the human body.   

Recently KAT-101 has been FDA approved for a phase 1 and 2A clinical trial which should begin in the U.S. first or second quarter of 2023.  It will be available in three cohorts for both FLC and HCC. Click here to review the trial KAT-101 in Subjects With Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) – Full Text View – ClinicalTrials.gov 

  • First- oral pill alone
  • Second- Intra-tumoral only (Intratumoral delivery of immunotherapy involves the direct injection of immune stimulating agents into the tumor.) 
  • Third – Intratumoral and pill combined.
    Mechanism of KAT from the NEWG lab website.  


    Meet Dr. Ko

    I have been very fortunate in my scientific career.  My previous mentors/professors allowed me to stand on their shoulders and see much further than I would have alone.  They trained me in the fields of nutrition, metabolism, chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics, biology, microbiology, physiology, and animal care medicine.  Additionally, I gained hands-on experience in human medicine by collaborating with research scientists, physicians, healthcare providers, radiologists, patients, and patient family members.  My ongoing goal is to better understand human biology and biochemistry, and to identify key and subtle differences between health and disease.  My most important goal is to discover and develop new therapies targeting major diseases that affect humans and animals around the world. 

    My immediate plan is to develop 3BP anticancer technology for global commercialization to help as many cancer patients as possible.  In 2000, I discovered that the small molecule 3-bromopyruvate (3BP) is a highly potent and effective anticancer agent with preferential selectivity for cancer cells.  3BP works by targeting the most common property of cancer cells – their markedly elevated capacity to metabolize glucose and glutamine.  It enters cancer cells quickly via mono-carboxylate transporters (MCTs) and immediately targets the mitochondria.  It does all of this while leaving most normal cells unharmed.  As I have continued to study and research the unique qualities of 3BP, I have come to believe that there are three potentially significant opportunities for the use of this molecule.  

    1. My research continues to confirm the powerful potential of 3BP as an anticancer therapeutic. 
    1. I also believe that there is a strong potential for 3BP to act as an immunological modulator; and 
    1. I believe that 3BP may also function as a metabolic modulator which may correct abnormal metabolic functions. 

    Since founding Ko Discovery to further develop 3BP as an anticancer therapy, I now believe that these additional qualities may add further value and therapeutic benefits to address a myriad of other unmet medical needs.  I hope to help patients who have run out of treatment options, and those who wish to be treated with 3BP as the first therapy.  Ultimately, I will work on a broad range of additional research projects associated with neurological diseases, injuries/wounds, infections, inflammation, and other health conditions, to help the millions affected by these devastating conditions.  

    With gratitude,
    Young Ko