Varian Medical Systems Inc., which makes equipment and software used to treat cancer, said Tuesday a subsidiary has acquired rights to a potential drug designed to enhance cancer treatments in certain tumors.
Varian, based in Palo Alto, Calif., said Centella Therapeutics Inc. entered a licensing agreement for exclusive rights to the drug, which is labeled CEN-209, from Auckland UniServices Ltd. of New Zealand. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The investigational drug aims to enhance radiotherapy and chemotherapy when treating solid tumors that are oxygen starved and resistant to standard forms of those treatments. There is no effective treatment for those tumors.
The company said radiotherapy damages the DNA of tumor cells but only in well-oxygenated areas. CEN-209 is designed to damage DNA only in the oxygen-starved areas and to be used in combination with treatments like radiotherapy.