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By Biocat

The consortium made up of the University Institute of Science and Technology (IUCT), Finnish CRO Pharmatest and the Romanian Centre for Technological and Industrial Cooperation (CCTI) has developed a platform that can quickly discover new cancer drugs. This platform began development in 2008, thanks to €1.5 millions in funding from the European Disc-Screen project, and can:

  • synthesize a large number of candidates for cancer drugs (High Throughput Biobased synthesis, HTB platform),
  • develop the High Throughput Screening (HTS) platform to test antiproliferative activity of candidate drugs in cancer cell cultures in vitro,
  • predict compound activity in silico, even before synthesis, and 
  • discover new anticancer compounds with improved activity and reduced toxicity compared to drugs currently available.

IUCT Head of Program Coordination Cristina Delgado explained that the new platform "has shown positive antiproliferative results on breast and prostate cancer.” Moreover it has obtained 15 patentable drug candidates with the potential to become new cancer treatments given that their antiproliferative behavior surpasses that of currently available therapies (gemcitabine, cytarabine and floxuridine) while also diminishing side effects.

The IUCT, Pharmatest and CCTI have begun negotiations with a biotechnology company interested in continuing development of these products. The three companies hope to designate between three and five candidates for preclinical studies over the coming months, and at least one drug is expected to be ready for clinical trials within two years.

For more information, visit the IUCT website.

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