Seven new drug molecules offer hope for cancer control

Scientists at the Pondicherry university have discovered a set of seven molecules that show promise in the treatment of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML), a type of blood cancer

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CML accounts for 12 percent of all cancers in India

A team of researchers at the School of Life Sciences of the Pondicherry University screened about 35,000 compounds and benchmarked the shortlisted seven compounds against some of the available potent drugs used for the treatment of  Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML). It is characterised by uncontrolled growth of white blood corpuscles (WBCs) in the bone marrow. It accounts for 12 percent of all cancers in India.

According to the researchers, the seven yet-to-be-named new molecules (codenamed DB07107, DB06977, ST013616, DB04200, ST007180, ST019342 and DB01172) are more potent than the existing drugs such as ponatinib, imatinib, dasatinib and nilotinib available in the market to treat blood cancer.

"Drugs manufactured using these newly-identified molecules will be more effective than the existing drugs as they arrest the progression of CML by binding the enzymes in the bone marrow that lead to overproduction of WBCs. These drugs will be at least twice more potent than the existing ones," said Dr R Baskaran, associate professor, department of biochemistry and molecular Biology, Pondicherry University and also lead researcher of the study. The team has proposed to seek a patent for their findings shortly.

The drugs manufactured using the new molecules are expected to be cheaper than the existing ones. The findings are slated to be published in the journal 'Nature: Scientific Reports'.

 

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