Medivir announces a new discovery project for a cancer indication.
The Leukotide project is intended to deliver a new drug for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and other hematological malignancies, and is based on the company’s expertise in nucleoside and nucleotide science. It represents the second cancer project to emerge from its in-house discovery efforts in oncology.
AML arises from cells in the bone marrow that are supposed to develop into normal white blood cells but become cancerous instead. These cancerous cells build up in the bone marrow, preventing the development of normal blood cells therefore causing levels of red blood cells and normal white blood cells to drop. AML is a relatively rare cancer, with around 21,000 cases expected in the USA in 2017. The prognosis is poor for many patients, such as the elderly, because they are often unable to tolerate the intensive treatments currently used to cure the disease. Five-year survival of patients in the USA diagnosed with AML was 27% in the period 2007-2013.
The aim of the Leukotide project is to develop a better tolerated and more effective agent that can lead to improved treatment outcomes for patients with AML and other hematological cancers.