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    Australian scientists developing promising novel cancer treatment



    Singapore, Feb 26, 2008: In Australia, cancer is expected to effect one in three men and one in four women before they reach 75 years of age. For patients whose cancer has spread to other sites in their body, treatment options are limited. While anti-cancer drugs (chemotherapeutics) can provide temporary benefit in some cancers, the great majority of patients will develop progressive disease that is refractory to any currently available treatment.

    To combat this issue, Australian scientists have been developing a promising novel cancer treatment called BNC105, which works by a totally different mechanism to currently available anti-cancer drugs. BNC105 works by selectively inhibiting tumour blood vessel growth, a process that will hopefully lead to the destruction of the tumour tissue supplied by those vessels.

    This week the first patient was treated with BNC105 at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Melbourne. This is the first patient in a Phase I trial that will determine the safety of BNC105 in up to 30 late-stage cancer patients.

    In preclinical studies performed with BNC105, it was found to kill cancerous tissue in two ways: It destroys established blood vessels, and prevents the formation of new vessels that carry blood to cancerous tumours. This effectively starves the cancerous tissue of the nutrients and oxygen that it needs for growth and it is directly toxic to cancerous cells and demonstrates the ability to become “locked” within the cancer tumour, resulting in a reater anti-cancer result.

    BNC105 is in a new class of drugs called a Vascular Disrupting Agents (VDAs). VDAs have significant clinical promise in the treatment of cancer, with the potential to be applied across a very wide variety of cancer types. To date, BNC105 has been shown to be effective against breast, lung, prostate and colon cancers in animal models of human disease.

    Mr Marcus Clark, CEO of Cancer Trials Australia (CTA) said, “The CTA cancer centers are among the best in the world. The ability to commence trials, such as this one, means we are providing cancer patients with access to the most progressive cancer treatment options available. This trial is taking place as part of the CTA network at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the Royal Melbourne Hospital, where the first patient has been treated, and the Western Hospital in Melbourne.”

    Dr Jayesh Desai, Principal Investigator of the trial at the Royal Melbourne Hospital said, “Vascular Disrupting Agents, like BNC105, represent a promising addition to our arsenal of anti-cancer treatments. Preclinical studies have shown that BNC105 selectively targets blood vessels involved in cancer growth, and has also been shown to enhance the anti-cancer effects of other currently available anti-cancer treatments.”

    excellent to see BNO getting exposure - should bring in a few more buyers - but as I have stated previously this co is a no brainer acquisition for big pharma
 
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