Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Novel approach to cancer drug given major boost

15.01.2007
Scientists at ProXara Biotechnology Limited have identified a way of switching off one of the key mechanisms that leads to the development and growth of a tumour.

Under the Wellcome Trust's Seeding Drug Discovery initiative, the researchers hope to use their findings to develop a drug which could be used to fight cancer. The funding will be used to develop the drug to a point at which it is close to entering a clinical trial.

All cells in the body contain protein kinase B (PKB), a naturally-occurring enzyme that if active prevents cells from committing suicide. Programmed cell death, or apoptosis, is an important process in the body's development, but when this process goes wrong, unregulated cell growth occurs, leading to the development of tumour cells.

Recent research has shown that certain types of genetic damage, common to many cancer cells, lead to the movement of PKB from the interior of the cell to its surface membrane. When PKB attaches to the surface membrane, it becomes active, triggering a signal that tells the cell not to commit suicide. Professor Jeremy Tavaré at ProXara Biotechnology Ltd, a spin-out company at the University of Bristol, believes that by preventing PKB binding to the cell’s surface membrane, he can ensure that apoptosis occurs, thus killing the cancer cells.

... more about:
»Cancer »Membrane »PKB »Tavaré »approach »tumour

"There has been a lot of interest in targeting PKB as a way of preventing tumour growth," says Professor Tavaré. "Most of the interest so far has been in developing drugs that block the enzyme's signal. However, such drugs are very non-specific and can have many adverse side effects. We are working on a novel approach to prevent PKB actually binding to the cell membrane."

Professor Tavaré and his team have discovered a drug-like compound, which prevents PKB binding to the cell membrane and makes the tumour cells commit suicide. They now wish to develop this compound to a point at which it could be used in clinical trials.

"Professor Tavaré’s research offers a novel approach to cancer drug research," says Dr Ted Bianco, Director of Technology Transfer at the Wellcome Trust, which is funding the research under its Seeding Drug Discover initiative. "Cancer affects very large numbers of people which is why it receives so much attention from those engaged in medical research. But it is a complex disease to tackle and as a result many of the current anti-cancer drugs have unpleasant side -effects. This work has the potential to provide a more targeted approach to drug therapy with fewer adverse effects."

Professor Tavaré says that the drug would be used initially to target lung cancer, the most common cancer in the UK. Almost 38,000 people are diagnosed with this particular cancer each year. If the approach works it could be adapted to treat other types of cancer or even inflammatory diseases such as arthritis or asthma.

"We anticipate that a drug based on this approach may benefit a significant proportion of people with lung cancer," explains Professor Tavaré. "As well as developing the drug itself, we are also working on a way of identifying which individuals are most likely to respond to the drug."

This targeted therapy is based on five years of research by Professor Tavaré and Dr Paul England. The research has now been given a major boost by way of a £2.8 million award to the University of Bristol under the Wellcome Trust's Seeding Drug Discovery initiative. The initiative aims to bridge the funding gap in early-stage drug discovery, assisting researchers to take forward projects in small molecule therapeutics that will be the springboard for further R&D by the biotech and pharmaceutical industry.

Craig Brierley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.wellcome.ac.uk

Further reports about: Cancer Membrane PKB Tavaré approach tumour

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells
22.08.2017 | National University Health System

nachricht Biochemical 'fingerprints' reveal diabetes progression
22.08.2017 | Umea University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible

22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>