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News

New tamoxifen formulation shown to substantially retard growth of resistant tumors

BTG : 14 October, 2006  (New Product)
Scientists have discovered a new formulation of tamoxifen which can treat breast cancers that are resistant to the standard formulation of the drug. Tamoxifen is the most widely prescribed breast cancer medicine in the world. BTG, the global technology commercialisation company, is now working to develop and commercialise liposomal tamoxifen, this new drug.
Approximately 65% of women receiving standard tamoxifen have tumors that are resistant, or become resistant, to the drug during lengthy treatment. Encapsulating the tamoxifen in liposomes has overcome that resistance during laboratory tests. Approximately 150,000 women each year could benefit from this breakthrough if these findings are confirmed in clinical trials.

This discovery was made by researchers at the Max-Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin-Buch, Germany, a leading medical research foundation.

'Developing therapies that can overcome resistance to existing treatments is a vital part of the ongoing search for effective cancer remedies. To take an important drug like tamoxifen and substantially improve it with a new formulation is a major step forward' said Dr. Iduna Fichtner of MDC. 'We’re anxious to see this developed further and are encouraged that BTG is backing this effort.'

The orally-delivered formulation has performed well in laboratory studies but has not yet been tested in humans. The market for tamoxifen is currently valued at $575 million worldwide(1). Tamoxifen is marketed as Nolvadex by AstraZeneca but there are generic forms of the drug available.

'Liposomal tamoxifen is a major addition to the strong family of drugs BTG is developing for treating cancer. From AQ4N to Campath, we now have a range of projects in different stages of development, from pre-clinical to launched compounds. Each has the potential to make real breakthroughs in different areas of cancer treatment,' said Dr Geoffrey Porges, BTG Executive Vice President for Health, Medical and BioTechnologies.
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