The Australian drug manufacturer Novogen Limited (NVGN) saw its shares skyrocket as much as 260 percent to $7.52 by mid-Tuesday, upon the release of news that trials for their experimental anti-cancer drug CS-6 have proven conclusively successful.
According to a company press-release yesterday “The study was designed to test the ability of the experimental anti-cancer drug, CS-6, to kill ovarian cancer stem cells.” Cancer stem-cells, while thought to make up only a small fraction (less than 1 percent) of all cells active in leukemia as well as gut, skin, ovarian, and brain cancers, are thought by scientists to be the reason that such cancers are able to return, usually in a more virulent, untreatable form, after the preliminary success of radio and chemotherapy treatments.
In December of last year, Novogen completed its acquisition of Triaxial Pharmaceuticals, which provided it with the technology necessary to develop the CS-6 drug that has the capacity to target not only human cancer cells but also stem-cells. According to the press release, “CS-6 belongs to a new class of drug candidates known (structurally) as super-benzopyrans displaying potent anti-cancer activity and demonstrating increased bio-availability to cancer cells”.
The study was conducted by Mazor Oncology, an affiliate of Yale University that specializes in cancer stem-cell research as well as in testing the viability of experimental anti-cancer drugs. While CS-6 was originally developed to treat giloma, a form of brain cancer, it has already proven effective against ovarian cancer and researchers are predicting that the technology should be applicable to a range of other types of cancer in which cancer stem-cells play a major role.
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