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Taxolog acquires new anti-cancer drug

Amy P

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Posted on Tue, Oct. 18, 2005

Taxolog acquires new anti-cancer drug

By Rocky Scott


Taxolog Inc., a pharmaceutical research company with offices in Tallahassee, has acquired a new cancer-fighting drug made with a process developed by a former Florida State University professor, a company official said Monday.

"The drug is an anti-cancer drug which, in pre-clinical data, had activity in a range of tumors," said Dr. Martin Huber, vice president of clinical development for Taxolog in the company's main office in Fairfield, N.J.

Huber said the drug, which has been given the name milataxel, originally was sold to Wyeth Inc. by Taxolog.

He said Wyeth performed early testing and found favorable results, but decided to allow the patent to revert to Taxolog, where officials were pleased with some of the early Wyeth test results.

"Wyeth had done some clinical studies and at the end ... we saw responses among patients with breast cancer and lung cancer," Huber said.

He said tests also show milataxel can be taken orally and appears to have some success against patients whose cancers have developed immunity to Taxol and Taxotere, two drugs developed by Taxolog to fight ovarian cancer and breast cancer.

The drug has not been approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration and must still undergo a series of extensive clinical trials before its effectiveness is determined, Huber said.

No date has been set for the next round of testing, Huber said.

The process for producing Taxol synthetically was developed by Robert Holton, a former FSU chemistry and biochemistry professor.

FSU has received about $135 million in royalties from Taxol, said Kirby Kemper, vice president for research. Royalties for Taxol stopped last year when a newer process for synthesizing the drug was developed.

Kemper said part of the Taxol royalties will be used to develop a new $65 million chemistry center at FSU. Construction on the center should start the first week of November, he said

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