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American Brain Tumor Association-Funded Research Spurs Development of New Treatments
Date:11/21/2013

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) November 21, 2013

In just three years since the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) launched its Discovery Grant program, the organization is pleased to announce that its funding has aided the development of two new brain tumor drugs that target malignant gliomas such as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)—a common and aggressive type of malignant brain tumor.

While meeting with leading scientists and neuro-oncologists this week at the Society for Neuro-Oncology’s Annual Conference in San Francisco, Calif., ABTA President and CEO Elizabeth M. Wilson is optimistic about the interest shown in taking innovative approaches to the treatment of brain tumors.

“Most encouraging to us is that these drugs work differently than existing therapies,” said Wilson “They represent entirely new treatment approaches and they show real progress and hold real hope for brain tumor treatment breakthroughs.”

Still in the very early phases of development and years away from human testing, these results reflect the intended goal of the ABTA Discovery Grant program to bring new drugs to the testing stage and build a promising pipeline of therapies for further research.

One of the drugs has been selected for follow-on funding by a venture capital firm, the other has given rise to a new biopharmaceutical company.

Starving Cancer Cells of Energy
David S. Baskin, M.D., and Martyn A. Sharpe, Ph.D., Department of Neurosurgery at the Houston Methodist Hospital and Dallas-based Remeditex Ventures LLC, have entered into an agreement to develop one of these new drugs, called MP-MUS. Shown to kill human GBM in cell culture, MP-MUS is now being tested against GBM in a mouse brain model. The drug is designed to be converted into a highly toxic form by a specific enzyme which is only highly expressed in GBM. The active form of the drug attacks the cancer cell’s powerhouse—mitochondria. Damaged mitoch
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