New anti-cancer drug undergoing testing

Oct. 7, 2009 at 1:21 PM
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Oct. 7 (UPI) -- A U.S. Phase 1 clinical trial is under way to determine if a new anti-cancer drug is safe and effective for use in patients with solid cancer tumors.

The drug, currently called EP-100, is designed to treat common breast, prostate, endometrial, pancreatic, ovarian, skin and testicular cancers. It is being tested by TGen Clinical Research Services at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Healthcare's Piper Cancer Center.

Dr. Ramesh Ramanathan, principal investigator for the trial, said the new drug is a membrane-disrupting peptide designed to "seek and destroy" cancer cells by targeting those with excessive luteinizing hormone releasing hormone receptors that are found in a wide range of cancers,

EP-100 is produced by Esperance Pharmaceuticals of Baton Rouge, La. The president of the company, Dr. Hector Alila, said EP-100 has the potential to offer improved safety and effectiveness over existing therapies, such as radiation or chemotherapy.

"Preclinical studies of EP-100 demonstrated this candidate's efficacy across multiple indications in oncology, including aggressive cancers known to be resistant to the current standards of care and, importantly, studies of EP-100's mechanism-of-action support that it targets and selectively kills cancer cells without harming normal cells," Alila said.

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