PALO ALTO, Calif. and LONDON, May 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cancer Research UK and Cancer Research Technology - the charity's development and commercialisation arm – have partnered with Centella Therapeutics, Inc. of Palo Alto, California, to develop, manufacture and trial a promising new drug, CEN-209 in cancer patients with solid tumours.
CEN-209*, discovered at the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre and exclusively licensed to Centella from Auckland Uniservices Ltd. of New Zealand, is designed to provide benefit when used together with radiotherapy and chemotherapy to treat solid tumours. CEN-209 is the seventh drug candidate to enter Cancer Research UK's Clinical Development Partnerships (CDP) scheme. (See related press release: Centella Therapeutics Licenses Novel New Drug Designed to Enhance the Effectiveness of Cancer Treatment, May 23, 2011 ).
CEN-209 has the potential to destroy the areas of tumours which are low in oxygen – or hypoxic. Tumour cells become hypoxic because the blood vessels supplying them with nutrients and oxygen are often weak, twisted and ineffective due to the rapid growth of the tumour.
Cancer cells that are hypoxic are more resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy and often survive such treatment. By destroying the hypoxic part of tumours with CEN-209 in parallel to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, it is hoped that this combination treatment will be more effective.
CDP is a joint initiative between Cancer Research UK's Drug Development Office and Cancer Research Technology, to develop promising anti-cancer agents from companies that are not able to take them through early phase clinical trials themselves. The CDP scheme allows companies to retain the background rights to their programmes while enabling Cancer Research UK to take on early development work to assess if there is a potential benefit to ca