Research Team Identifies Drug That Can ‘Seek And Destroy’ Cancer

by Aruna on Oct 10 2009 8:31 AM

A drug to ‘seek and destroy’ common cancers such as breast, prostate, endometrial, pancreatic, ovarian, skin and testicular cancers has been developed by a research team.

The research team has been led by an Indian origin scientist.

Principle investigator Dr. Ramesh K. Ramanathan is testing the efficacy of the drug EP-100 at TGen Clinical Research Services (TCRS) at Scottsdale Healthcare, with fewer side effects.

The drug is a membrane-disrupting peptide (tMDP) designed to "seek and destroy" cancer cells by targeting those with excessive luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) receptors.

Excessive LHRH receptors are found in a wide range of cancers, including breast, prostate, endometrial, pancreatic, ovarian, skin and testicular cancers.

For the trial, the researchers will enroll as many as 36 adult patients with solid tumors whose tumor biopsies indicate that they have excessive LHRH receptors.

EP-100 will be administered intravenously for three out of four weeks. Once the maximum tolerated dose has been established, additional subjects with specific diagnoses of either breast, ovarian, endometrial, pancreatic or prostate cancer will be enrolled.

EP-100 is produced by Esperance Pharmaceuticals of Baton Rouge, La., and was culled from a range of drugs tested at TGen Drug Development Services (TD2) in Scottsdale.

"It brings with it a killer, a toxin. It's a way of targeting a toxin to the cancer tumor cells," said Dr. Steve Gately, president and chief scientific advisor at TD2.

"Our goal would be to find that set of patients who are highly responsive; who have the greatest benefit. We'd like to accelerate the government approval for that agent," he added.