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Researchers develop liquid crystal pharmaceuticals to fight cancer and other diseases
Date:9/6/2007

known for their use in laptops, televisions and cell phones, liquid crystals also include families of organic substances that are essential for all life called lyotropic liquid crystals. Examples of lyotropic liquid crystals include DNA, proteins and cholesterol. LCPs are a unique class of lyotropic liquid crystals that represent novel drug candidates for the treatment of a wide range of diseases.

Mother nature is the ultimate chemist, says Tsai. Although we use creative and sophisticated computer modeling techniques to screen for our candidate compounds, Im always amazed at how nature puts it all together.

The most recent research involving LCPs has yielded a new investigational anti-tumor drug called Tolecine, a compound that also has antiviral and antibacterial applications. Created by Tsai, it has been shown to be even more effective than the current standard of care for herpes.

The teams second patent application involves a formulation that combines Tolecine and another LCP, Apatone®, which attacks cancer cells via multiple pathways to offer improved efficacy. Apatone® has been successfully tested in more than 30 human tumor cell lines at Summa and in a Phase I/IIa clinical trial, which demonstrated a delaying effect in the progression of end-stage cancer patients. In addition, the FDA granted Apatone® orphan-drug status for the treatment of metastatic, or locally advanced, inoperable bladder cancer in August 2007.

Unlike other chemotherapy drugs, TolecineTM and Apatone® have low toxicity and do not target dividing cells. Instead, they are activated by inflammation that occurs in and around tumor cells, sparing healthy cells. We want to kill cancer cells specifically without killing surrounding tissues, says Jamison.

Innovative, low-toxicity drugs such as Tolecine and Apatone® provide new hope in the battle against cancer and other diseases in the next few years. Research on LCPs provides a
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Contact: Melissa Edler
medler@kent.edu
330-672-8589
Kent State University
Source:Eurekalert

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