New anti-leukemia drug kills tumour cells

An experimental drug candidate eliminates tumours by promoting programmed cell death, according to a recent article in Nature, which rarely publishes on this topic. The leaders of the international author team are Hungarian researchers from the Servier Hungaria Ltd. The research institute is also in partnership with the Institute of Organic Chemistry, MTA Research Centre for Natural Sciences.

1 February, 2016

Nature discussed in detail the anticancer drug candidate developed by an international research group under Hungarian leadership. The new drug promotes the process of programmed cell death. Programmed cell death (apoptosis) is a continuous natural process in the body of animals and humans, which allows for the suicide of damaged, infected or tumour cells.

Plasma cells of a patient suffering from multiple myeloma Source: Wikimedia Commons/Dr Erhabor Osaro - CC-BY-SA

The clinical candidate molecule developed by Servier Hungaria Ltd. has several advantageous properties compared to similar drugs of the past. This might facilitate the process for this substance to be acknowledged as a medicine.

The drug candidate molecule proved effective on cell cultures with leukaemia, lymphoma and other tumours. The results were reproduced in animal experiments as well.

According to Gábor Blaskó academician and András Kotschy, head of Servier Hungaria human clinical trials can begin this year. The research institute is working together with the Institute of Organic Chemistry at the MTA Research Centre for Natural Sciences and with several other Hungarian universities.