The results of study presented at the Annual Meeting of AACR,the American Association for Cancer Research
Scientists from Nerviano Medical Sciences (NMS), one of the largest stand alone Research and Development facility for anticancer drugs in Europe, have discovered and developed a new molecule that is active against tumour cells. Oncological research is focusing more and more on targeted therapies for cancer and the NMS' molecule is a low molecular weight inhibitor of Cdc7, a kinase previously identified by NMS' scientists as being responsible for the uncontrolled proliferation of tumours.
This discovery is being presented and discussed at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in progress in San Diego. The AACR is the most important international congress for the presentation of new knowledge and new experimental cancer drugs.
The pre-clinical results generated by NMS' scientists indicate that this cdc7 inhibitor blocks uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells and induces cell death by apoptosis. The compound is efficacious on cancers cells of various origins, including those resistant to the tumour replication inhibitors already on the market. The clinical trials for the Cdc7 inhibitor will start in the next few months in a variety of human tumours, including ovary, colon and breast cancers along with various forms of leukaemia.
"We are extremely proud of the results obtained with this new Cdc7 inhibitor," states Francesco Colotta, R&D Director of NMS. "Our scientists are the first in the world who have succeeded in the discovery of a potent and selective molecule targeting cdc7 kinase, a protein involved in the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells. We are therefore committed to proceed as rapidly as possible into the clinical studies within the next few months, in order to offer cancer patients a new treatment opportunity".
In addition to the Cdc7 inhibitor, NMS is also engaged on many other fronts in the war against cancer, with an annual investment of more than €60 million to discover and develop innovative targeted therapies against cancer. Currently NMS has an Aurora inhibitor in 19 different clinical studies for various tumour indications, and it has further studies underway with an inhibitor of CDKs proteins. The Nerviano discovery also has a very rich and innovative preclinical pipeline investigating a number of cancer kinase and non-kinase targets.