Clinical Trial Will Evaluate Drug's Ability to Protect Normal Cells During Chemotherapy

The drug is to be administered right before chemotherapy or radiation, to bind to and inhibit cell division in normal cells and reduce the adverse effects of chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy is like nuking the body with chemicals. It kills good and bad cells alike, which is why cancer patients undergoing treatment get fatigued and suffer through a whole host of side effects. A little startup built around research at the University of North Carolina called G1 Therapeutics thinks it’s got an answer to some of those ailments—a molecular shield, of sorts, that could help protect the body from the damage. Now it just has to amass the clinical data to prove it.

Sometime within the next few months, Chapel Hill, NC-based G1 will begin its first clinical trial for what’s called G1T28-1, a compound meant to help thwart some of the toxic effects of chemotherapy, like depletion of healthy red or white blood cells. It’ll mark the first clinical step in an ambitious journey for G1, a tiny, 10-person startup trying to make its drug candidate a mainstay in a slew of chemotherapy regimens. If G1 has its way, it’ll unseat big-selling biologic drugs like Amgen’s (NASDAQ: AMGN) darbepoetin alfa (Aranesp), which, despite safety issues that have reduced their use, are still administered to patients with chemotherapy-induced anemia.

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Source: Xconomy