All Headline News
Jan, 16 2007
By Danielle GoddardEdmonton
, AB (AHN) - It is expected there would be no problems securing funding to explore a drug that could shrink cancerous tumors and has no side-effects in humans, but University of Alberta researcher Evangelos Michelakis has hit a stalemate with the private sector who would normally fund such a venture.
Michelakis' drug is none other than dichloroacetate (DCA), a drug which cannot be patented and costs pennies to make.
It's no wonder he can't secure the $400-600 million needed to conduct human trials with the medicine - the drug doesn't have the potential to make enough money.
Michelakis told reporters they will be applying to public agencies for funding, as pharmaceuticals are reluctant to pick up the drug.
At roughly $2 a dose, there isn't much chance to make a billion on the cancer treatment over the long term.
According to research on DCA, formerly used to fight metabolic disease in children, the drug apparently revitalizes damaged mitochondria in cancer cells, effectively triggering cell death and shrinking the cells.
"One of the really exciting things about this compound is that it might be able to treat many different forms of cancer," explained Michelakis.All Headline News Small molecule offers hope for cancer treatment
A small, non-toxic molecule may soon be available as an inexpensive treatment for many forms of cancer, including lung, breast and brain tumours, say University of Alberta researchers.
But there's a catch: the drug isn't patented, and pharmaceutical companies may not be interested in funding further research if the treatment won't make them a profitContinues here>>