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Getting a cancer drug to patients takes both scientific and business smarts
Date:1/23/2014

sive knowledge of biochemistry. But it also demands business sense: to negotiate financial agreements with biotech companies that have expertise to construct the delivery system. Specialized components include synthetic antibodies that are specifically engineered to seek out HER-2-positive cancer cells, as well as "linkers" that would fuse the toxin to the antibodies as a space capsule might be attached to a booster rocket until just the moment when, inside the cell, the toxin detonates.

If the product ultimately works, each of these companies will see a share of what could be substantial profits. Those financial details, and many others, are essential parts of the business plan, and need to be worked out now. Sinha and his team would then take the completed plan to venture capitalists and large foundations which he hopes he and his team can convince to put up the capital needed to fund both the manufacturing process and the all-important human clinical trials that would follow.

Attacking HER-2-positive breast cancer may be just the start. If, as Sinha expects, the toxin can also be combined with different antibodies that seek out other cancers, Sinha says the drug has "nearly endless" cancer fighting potential.

"He is a very impressive young man," says Joseph Bertino, chief scientific officer at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and a professor of medicine and pharmacology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Bertino, whose own research focuses on targeted cancer therapies, is one of several Rutgers faculty members who have advised Sinha. "He has collaborators lined up," Bertino adds, "and I think he has a real shot at it." Sinha and his team have formed a company, OncoLinx LLC, to help advance their plans.

Sinha's foray into the business side of drug development is a sign of rapidly changing times. In the past, nearly all who earned doctorates in the biomedical sciences stayed in academia. B
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Contact: Rob Forman
robert.forman@rutgers.edu
973-972-7276
Rutgers University
Source:Eurekalert  

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