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June 27, 2007 -- Abbott Laboratories said one of its experimental drugs has "huge" potential in fighting cancer by restoring the body's ability to destroy its own damaged cells.

The drugmaker said that it and Genentech had agreed to develop ABT-263.

The drug is designed to block a protein called Bcl-2 and restore the body's natural process of destroying its own defective or aberrant cells, controlling the growth of cancer cells.

"Bcl-2 drugs could be huge, based on results we've seen in preclinical trials," said Stephen Fesik, Abbott's vice president.

Fesik said early-stage human trials of the Abbott drug have focused on **small-cell lung cancer**, lymphoma and certain leukemias - areas where this type of drug will be most effective.

The companies are also developing a drug, ABT-869, that chokes off the flow of nutrients to cancer cells.

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