Russian scientists developed a combined cancer drug

| By | Cancer Drugs, Drug Development, Skolkovo
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Gene Surgery, a resident of SKOLKOVO, has conducted preclinical study of AntioncoRAN-M, an original cancer drug developed in Russia.

Two genes, including the “killer” of cancer cell DNA and immunostimulator, are enclosed in a polymer shell, which acts as a drug delivery vehicle. Experts believe that such drugs are the future of oncology, as they have less harmful side effects than chemo- or radiotherapy.

In international practice, a cancer drug is considered to be effective, if it inhibits the growth of tumors in experimental animals by 50% and reduces metastases by 25%. Preclinical study of the Russian drug showed about 80% reduction for both parameters.

“The drug combines gene and immune therapy,” said Irina Alexeenko, project manager, “It consists of two genes, including one that kills the cancer cell, and the other one that stimulates the immune system so that the body can fight the tumor. They are delivered to the tumor location by special polymer system.”

The delivery method is the key advantage of the Russian product. Worldwide, mostly the viral systems are utilized in the drug delivery experiments. But the latter are associated with the risk of complications. They may cause the body’s unpredictable immune response to the introduced virus.

Another important advantage of the Russian drug is the combination of two genes in one construct. Russian scientists were the first who managed to master it. Developers from the US and Western Europe have not been able so far to obtain such combination.