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New cancer drug being tested

Clinical development of a new drug that could be used to treat cancer has begun the Institute of Cancer Research announced on April 11
Clinical development of a new drug that could be used to treat cancer has begun the Institute of Cancer Research announced on April 11.

Trials of the candidate medicine GDC-0941 are now being conducted at The Institute, the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and in the US.

The drug is being developed to target PI 3-kinase, which is an intracellular enzyme found in a wide range of cancers. It is hoped that it will also be used in combination with other types of cancer therapies.

Professor Paul Workman, head of Cancer Research UK Centre for Cancer Therapeutics at The Institute, said: "This is a significant milestone in the development of a new drug which has the potential to treat a broad range of cancers."

GDC-0941 was discovered at Piramed Limited, a UK-based biotechnology company, in collaboration with the Institute, the Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research, Cancer Research UK, and Astellas Pharma (formerly Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Company). Genetech licensed the compound to Piramed and is responsible for all clinical development.

Workman said that the collaborative effort is, "an example of how academia can work alongside the biotechnology industry to discover innovative drugs."

11th April 2008

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