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Mesothelioma Drug Enters Phase II Clinical Trial


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Investigational Mesothelioma Drug Enters Phase II Clinical Trial

New compound causes cancer cell death by inhibiting normal progression of the cell cycle

Syracuse, NY 7/08/2009 08:04 PM GMT (FINDITT)

An investigational compound which could potentially aid in the treatment of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has entered into Phase II clinical trials, according to the compound’s developers, biotech firm CanBas and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Osaka, Japan).

The compound, known as CBP501, and its associated compounds are thought to cause cancer cell death by preventing cancer cells from progressing through the normal stages of cell growth and development. Data from an earlier Phase I trial indicate that CPB501 may increase anti-cancer cell activity and hasten cancer cell death when the compound is given in combination with certain chemotherapy drugs.

In November 2008, the companies launched a separate Phase II trial of CBP501 to determine the efficacy of the compound in treating patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma, a condition which occurs in men and women who have been exposed to asbestos fibers.

Mesothelioma may not be diagnosed until years after asbestos exposure. In its earliest recognizable form, mesothelioma causes persistent cough, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Currently, there is no cure for mesothelioma, and mesothelioma treatments are focused on lessening symptoms associated with the disease.

NSCLC is the most common form of lung cancer, accounting for more than 85 percent of all lung cancer cases. Often occurring in individuals who have been exposed to asbestos, NSCLC is also often associated with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Researchers hope CBP501 will provide palliative therapy for both conditions.

Less than 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are reported each year, and so this disease is considered to be quite rare. For this reason, many hardworking individuals, including navy veterans and those who worked in shipyards, such as the Todd Shipyard in San Francisco, are unaware that they may develop an asbestos disease when they are well into their sixties or seventies.

CanBas and Takeda decided to pursue clinical investigation of CPB501 in March 2007, when the two parties agreed to collaborate on the development of investigational compounds designed to treat patients with certain types of cancer. CanBas is a pure research company, founded by three cancer researchers who originally identified CPB501 and its compounds.

Once the drug clears Phase III trials, development and promotion in the U.S. will be conducted by both CanBas and Takeda’s U.S.-based pharmaceutical company, Takeda Millennium, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Those interested in learning more about CBP501 and its effect on asbestos cancer, including NSCLC and mesothelioma, can visit Takeda’s corporate website at www.takeda.com and the website of its U.S.-based oncology division, Takeda Millennium at http://www.mlnm.com/. Information about this and other clinical trials is also available by visiting Clinicaltrials.gov or the Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center Mesothelioma Clinical Trials webpage.



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