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Novel anti-cancer drug, ONC201, focus of alliance between Oncoceutics and MD Anderson

University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

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IMAGE: This is Hagop Kantarjian, M.D. view more

Credit: MD Anderson Cancer Center

Oncoceutics Inc. and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center today announced the initiation of a strategic alliance and research collaboration agreement for the clinical development of ONC201, a novel anti-cancer drug.

Earlier, preclinical studies of ONC201 have indicated there is merit in further investigation of the drug, which appears to kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells. The Oncoceutics and MD Anderson agreement will result in clinical trials in specific hematologic tumors.

This non-traditional alliance between MD Anderson and Oncoceutics aims to enable the clinical development of a transformative medicine for cancer patients. The collaboration is expected to rapidly identify optimal clinical settings for the use of ONC201 in oncology. The strategic agreement also provides for a sharing of risk and potential commercialization of ONC201.

"We and others have conducted extensive preclinical studies on ONC201 before considering such an agreement and are hopeful that drug may turn into a valuable remedy against several malignancies," said Michael Andreeff, M.D., Ph.D., chief of molecular hematology and therapy , professor of medicine, and the Paul and Mary Haas Chair in Genetics. "ONC201's broad activity in a range of tumors, combined with benign toxicity, allows us to offer this clinical trial drug to patients who have exhausted their therapeutic options and can no longer tolerate aggressive treatments."

"At MD Anderson, we are committed to innovation and transforming novel findings into clinical practice," said Hagop Kantarjian, M.D., department chair and Kelcie Margaret Kana - Research Chair of Leukemia at MD Anderson. "Our highest goal is to find the gems in the innovative portfolio and expedite their introduction into clinical use. We believe that ONC201 deserves to be explored to verify its potential role as an anti-cancer drug. Ultimately, we strive to give our cancer patients more and better choices."

"It is a privilege to work with the MD Anderson team on the development of ONC201 and the ambitious nature of the program speaks more than words can tell of the excitement behind the drug," said Wolfgang Oster, M.D., Ph.D., chief executive officer of Oncoceutics.

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