China puts new leukemia drug to clinical tests

China puts new leukemia drug to clinical tests

Friday, July 20, 2018 6:45 pm


Chinese researchers have submitted a new leukemia drug for clinical trials, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The new drug — HYML-122 — was approved by China National Drug Administration for clinical trials in June.

The researchers, based in Anhui Province, spent four years developing the new drug, a source from the academy said.

The source added that the drug was targeted at patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), an often-lethal cancer caused by damage to the DNA of blood-forming stem cells in the bone marrow, resulting in abnormal blood cells.

Without treatment, AML patients will die in weeks or months, the source added.

The FLT3 gene is one of the most frequently mutated genes in AML.

Studies have shown that 30 per cent of AML is related to FLT3.

The U.S. approved the world’s first leukemia drug in May 2017, but it may cause side effects such as albinism, thus an urgent need for safer and more effective drug, said Liu Qingsong, the lead researcher.

Animal experiments showed HYML-122, a small-molecule inhibitor of FLT3, improved safety and tumour penetration.

Should clinical tests prove successful, it could provide a solution for patients, especially those with tumours in the late stage of the disease.

The new drug has been patent protected and may be marketed after five years of clinical tests.


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