Cancer: a new drug could block the progression of tumors

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Preventing the progression of cancers with a simple drug is where clinical trials of a promising drug could lead. Its blocking action on the MYC gene, involved in the proliferation of cancerous cells, allows it to progress to phase II of the clinical trial.

They were 22 volunteers suffering from cancers to test this new innovative drug during the first phase of its clinical trial. The results lived up to expectations. The drug put to sleep the MYC gene, which is partly responsible for tumor growth, a first in cancer research. As Dr. Elena Garralda, director of the Cancer Molecular Therapy Research Unit (UITM), reports for ScienceX “the biomarkers clearly show that we are successfully blocking MYC to treat cancer.”

“For many years, this carcinogenic protein was thought to be unmedicable. OMO-103 is the first MYC inhibitor to successfully complete a Phase I clinical trial,” adds Laura Soucek, whose team she leads developed the OMO-103 protein, the main component of the drug. Phase I of the clinical trial, which began in April 2021, aimed to determine the safety of the treatment in humans, its tolerance and to estimate a dosage.

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The drug ready to move to a phase II study

Laura Soucek says “OMO-103 is […] ready to move to a phase II study in the next few weeks”. The results of the first phase are encouraging, of the 17 evaluable patients 8 did not see any evolution of their tumors. Clearly, the drug stopped tumor growth Moreover, the side effects were categorized as mild which facilitates the transition to the second stage of the clinical trial.

Assessing side effects is all the more important as researchers hope to assess the effectiveness of OMO-103 as an accompaniment to chemotherapy and other cancer therapies.

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