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

 

Pest Control: Mouse Blitz Team Leaves For Antipodes

The Million Dollar Mouse project to rid Antipodes Island of mice is underway with the departure of a rodent eradication team to the remote nature reserve and World Heritage Area. More>>

Gongs Got: Canon Media Awards & NZ Radio Awards Happen

Radio NZ: RNZ website The Wireless, which is co-funded by NZ On Air, was named best website, while Toby Manhire and Toby Morris won the best opinion general writing section for their weekly column on rnz.co.nz and Tess McClure won the best junior feature writer section. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Budget: Debt Focus Risks Losing Opportunity To Stoke Economy

The Treasury is likely to upgrade its forecasts for economic growth in Budget 2016 next week but Finance Minister Bill English has already signalled that more of his focus is on debt repayment than on fiscal stimulus or tax cuts... More>>

ALSO:

Fulton Hogan's Heroes: Managing Director Nick Miller Resigns

Fulton Hogan managing director Nick Miller will leave the privately owned construction company after seven years in charge. The Dunedin-based company has kicked off a search for a replacement, and Miller will stay on at the helm until March next year, or until a successor has been appointed and a transition period completed. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Electricity, Executions, And Bob Dylan

The Electricity Authority has unveiled the final version of its pricing plan for electricity transmission. This will change the way transmission prices (which comprise about 10% of the average power bill) are computed, and will add hundreds of dollars a year to power bills for many ordinary consumers. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Fonterra NZ, Australia Milk Collection Drops In Season

Fonterra Cooperative Group says milk collection is down in New Zealand and Australia, its two largest markets, in the first 11 months of the season during a period of weak dairy prices. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news