Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Auckland cancer drug discovery gets funding boost

Auckland cancer drug discovery gets funding boost


Significant research at the University of Auckland into the discovery and development of new drugs to improve patient outcomes in radiation therapy was one of the high profile research programmes funded in the latest round of Health Research Council grants.

Professor Bill Wilson and his multidisciplinary team from the University-based Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre (ACSRC) were granted nearly $5 million over the next five years to develop new drugs for this neglected setting, and for identifying genetic biomarkers that will match these drugs to patients who will most benefit.

“This grant provides critical support for the overall effort in targeting hypoxia in tumours at the University of Auckland,” says Professor Wilson. Another ACSRC member Associate Professor Adam Patterson also gained funding for two smaller projects in a related area of this research.

The new research programme entitled ‘Biomarker-guided drug targeting of the tumour microenvironment in radiotherapy’ is primarily a drug discovery programme.

“We are looking at taking forward a class of drugs that we understand in detail through Senior Research Fellow Dr Moana Tercel’s medicinal chemistry work, and we expect to be able to identify a clinical candidate in this series in the next year,” says Professor Wilson.

“The programme also involves two early stage drug discovery projects which Associate Professor Michael Hay leads. There is exciting potential here that builds on the understanding that we have developed over some years about targeting hypoxia,” he says.

“The other half of the programme seeks to understand how to identify the patients who will benefit from these drugs. We will be investigating biomarkers that predict which tumours will respond,” says Professor Wilson. “This is a neglected field with great promise.”

“Drug development in the 21st century must move away from huge clinical trials with unselected patients towards targeting drugs to tumours based on their molecular profile.”
The team will focus on head and neck cancers because there is an important need for new drugs in the treatment of these cancers.

“That is the clinical setting where we have the strongest evidence that tumour hypoxia is a major problem,” says Professor Wilson. “Hypoxic tumour cells are not eliminated by conventional radio-therapy, so this is an ideal setting to develop these agents.”

“The key is using our existing knowledge and matching the patient tumour profile with the new drug,” he says. “We know that this is necessary to advance drugs through the clinical development phase.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Constructions Builds: Consents Top $2 Billion For The First Time

Building consents reached a record $2 billion in March 2017, boosted by new homes and several big non-residential projects, Stats NZ said today. This was up 37 percent compared with March 2016. More>>

Other Stats:

Health: Work Underway To Address Antimicrobial Resistance

As part of a global response the Ministries of Health and Primary Industries have today jointly published ‘Antimicrobial Resistance: New Zealand’s current situation and identified areas for action’ to respond to the changing pattern of antimicrobial resistance in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Employment: Vodafone Announces Family Violence Policy To Support Team

From today, any of Vodafone’s 3,000 workers affected by family violence will be eligible for a range of practical support, including up to 10 additional days of paid leave per year. More>>

Burning Up Over Saturn: Cassini's Grand Finale

With propellant running low, NASA scientists are concerned that the probe might accidentally crash into one of Saturn’s nearby moons, which could contaminate it with Earthling bacteria stuck to the spacecraft. Instead, the spacecraft will be safely "disposed" in Saturn's atmosphere. More>>

ALSO:

Our Fresh Water: Monitoring Report Confirms Serious Challenges For Rivers

• nitrogen levels are getting worse at 55 percent and getting better at 28 percent of monitored river sites across New Zealand • phosphorus levels are getting better at 42 percent and getting worse at 25 percent of monitored river sites across New Zealand More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news