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Southern Research to Play Key Role in the Federal Government's Search for New Cancer Therapies
Date:8/20/2009

National Cancer Institute Chemical Biology Consortium to coordinate academic, private and government cancer drug discovery efforts

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Aug. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Southern Research Institute today announced that it has been selected as one of 11 organizations to help establish the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Chemical Biology Consortium (CBC)--a program meant to coordinate and accelerate the discovery and development of new therapeutic agents to treat cancer patients. Southern Research will establish one of NCI's five Comprehensive Chemical Biology Centers at its Birmingham campus.

"We are very pleased that Southern Research was selected to participate in this new program to expedite and coordinate the discovery and development of new cancer therapies," said W. Blaine Knight, Ph.D., vice president of Drug Discovery and Principal Investigator of this effort at Southern Research. "Cancer accounts for nearly one out of every four deaths in this country and the National Institutes of Health estimate that the overall costs of cancer last year were more than $228 billion for health expenses and lost productivity. The search for newer and better drugs is never-ending, and something cancer patients and their families depend upon."

Southern Research has a remarkable cancer-fighting track record having already discovered six FDA-approved drugs currently used in the treatment of cancer--amifostine, fludarabine, dacarbazine, lomustine, carmustine and clofarabine--with seven additional drugs in late stage preclinical and early clinical trials. Scientists at Southern Research have also evaluated approximately 50 percent of all FDA-approved cancer drugs currently available for patients.

"Our experience in cancer research and our track record in drug discovery were clearly recognized by our selection as a Comprehensive Center in the
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SOURCE Southern Research Institute
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