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June 29th, 2008
A drug developed using nanotechnology and a fungus that contaminated a lab experiment may be broadly effective against a range of cancers, United States researchers reported on Sunday.
The drug, called lodamin, was improved in one of the last experiments overseen by Dr Judah Folkman, a cancer researcher who died in January. Dr Folkman pioneered the idea of angiogenesis therapy - starving tumours by preventing them from growing blood supplies.
Lodamin is an angiogenesis inhibitor that Dr Folkman's team has been working to perfect for 20 years. Writing in the journal Nature Biotechnology, his colleagues say they developed a formulation that works as a pill, without side-effects.
They have licensed it to SynDevRx, a privately held Cambridge, Massachusetts biotechnology company that has recruited several prominent cancer experts to its board.
Tests in mice showed it worked against a range of tumours, including breast cancer, neuroblastoma, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, brain tumours known as glioblastomas and uterine tumours.
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