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Lorus Therapeutics and Brock University Sign Collaboration Agreement to Develop Novel Anticancer Drugs
Dec 18 12
Lorus Therapeutics Inc. announced that it has signed a collaboration agreement with Brock University for the development of novel anticancer drugs based on chemical derivatives of the natural compound pancratistatin. Under the collaboration, Lorus will test the anticancer activity and drug-like properties of pancratistatin derivatives synthesized by Dr. Tomas Hudlicky's research group at Brock University. Lorus will contribute 50% of total eligible costs in the form of cash and/or in-kind contributions to the project, and will share jointly with Brock University in new intellectual property created from this collaboration. Pancratistatin has strong anti-tumor activity against a number of cancers, including breast, lung, prostate, and pancreatic tumors, with minimal toxic effects on normal cells. The development of pancratistatin as a cancer therapy has been challenging because of its limited availability from natural sources and its poor solubility. Dr. Hudlicky's group has synthesized several pancratistatin derivatives that have improved solubility and yield, and which show anticancer activity based on preliminary studies. Lorus will conduct further anticancer testing on these and additional compounds, as well as bioavailability studies in animals. Pancratistatin is a potent naturally occurring anti-tumor agent isolated from the Amaryllidaceae family of plants. Drug development of this compound has been hampered because it has poor solubility and bio-availability. Recent work from the Professor Hudlicky's laboratory has led to the discovery and development of potent synthetic derivatives of pancratistatin and 7-deoxypancratistatin that have proven highly active against several cancer cell lines, causing cancer cell killing while not affecting healthy cells.
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