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U-M researchers ID promising new cancer drug
Date:3/3/2008

ared to cause no toxicity to animals.

Many traditional cancer drugs also activate p53 but they do so by causing DNA damage. They kill not only tumor cells but also normal cells, thus having severe side effects. MI-219 is unique in that it is designed to activate p53 without causing DNA damage, specifically killing tumor cells. Indeed, MI-219 is highly effective in inhibiting tumor growth, and even inducing tumor regression, but it has caused no toxicity to animals at efficacious doses, says Wang, professor of internal medicine and pharmacology at the U-M Medical School and professor of medicinal chemistry at the U-M College of Pharmacy.

In addition to its effectiveness at killing cancer cells without toxic side effects, MI-219 can be developed as a pill that patients could take orally, rather than the traditional chemotherapy drugs that must be given intravenously at a hospital or cancer center.

While promising in preclinical studies, MI-219 needs to be evaluated in human clinical trials for its safety and efficacy for cancer treatment since it is a brand new drug, Wang cautions.

"We are very excited about the therapeutic potential of MI-219 for the treatment of many types of human cancer. Ascenta is committed to advancing MI-219, which we have designated AT-219, into human clinical trials," says study author Dajun Yang, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president of research and a co-founder of Ascenta Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that has licensed the technology related to MI-219 from U-M and plans to aggressively advance it into human clinical trials.


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Contact: Nicole Fawcett
nfawcett@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert  

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