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MU cancer scientists form new company with international pharmaceutical firm
Date:12/2/2010

University of Missouri leaders celebrated a nanomedicine milestone today as they announced the creation of a new drug development company. The new company forms a partnership between university researchers and an international pharmaceutical firm to advance testing of a potential cancer treatment created at MU.

Shasun Pharmaceuticals Ltd., one of the world's leading suppliers of ibuprofen, formed the new company in partnership with MU nanomedicine experts Kattesh Katti, PhD, and Raghuraman Kannan, PhD. The scientists are developing a promising prostate cancer treatment that uses gold nanoparticles they created at the university. The new company will continue research and testing that is required for the treatment to receive approval for use in humans.

"MU brings many strengths to this new partnership, which will allow us to clinically translate the unique nanotechnology developed by Drs. Katti and Kannan," said Abhaya Kumar, a founding director of Shasun. "Everything we need for developing this product for use in patients is at the University of Missouri."

Katti and Kannan have studied their new therapy for treating late-stage prostate cancer for more than five years. Their efficacy studies in mice with prostate tumors have demonstrated an unprecedented 85 percent reduction in tumor volume after administering a single dose of their radioactive gold nanoparticle. They have observed little or no toxic side effects as a result of the injected dose.

"This is probably the most promising result we could expect," said Andrew Kurtz, PhD, a program manager at the National Cancer Institute's Small Business Innovation Research Development Center. "The next stage would be to hopefully move things into clinical trials to see if we find the same results in humans."

The therapy will advance toward human testing with support from a $1.5 million initial investment by Shasun. The money will help MU hire scientists and conduct furthe
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Contact: Laura Gerding
gerdingla@health.missouri
573-882-9193
University of Missouri School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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