New Anti-Cancer Drug Being Developed in Cuba

LABIOFAM Business Group is carrying out research to develop an anti-cancer drug based on peptide RJLB14

By: Marianela Martín González | Juventud Rebelde

Email: marianela@juventudrebelde.cu

2013-07-22 | 13:51:55 EST

Maybe we won’t have to wait too much longer to prove that cancer and some kinds of tumors can be cured in humans using RJLB14, said Dr. José Antonio Fraga Castro, director of the LABIOFAM Business Group, on Saturday.

Fraga explained that they are clearing the way for the treatment of this disease, which is now the first cause of death in the country and in many parts of the world. He said that they have managed to obtain the active principle for the anti-cancer drug from the peptide RJLB14.

“It is a formulation that goes through the membrane of the nucleus of the malign cell and kills it. Its effect is different from that attained with the cytostatic drugs. Those poison the cell and it dies, but it also affects healthy cells. Our anti-tumoral candidate affects only the malign cell tissue and combines the process of necrosis and apoptosis.”

The director of LABIOFAM said that the product is currently undergoing rigorous toxicology and pharmacodynamic tests. The product will start its clinical trials in humans once it has been approved to be used in humans by the corresponding organizations.

 The latest results of the anti-tumoral peptide have been submitted to the Board of the Ministry of Public Health with a reference containing evidence and tests from the preclinical trial.

Alexis Díaz García, one of the scientists conducting this project that comprises a multi-disciplinary group made up of biologists, physicians, pharmacologists, chemists and toxicologists, said that the anti-tumoral candidate is one of the five peptides of high investigative interest in the institution.

This young man, 37 years of age, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology and a Master’s Degree in Experimental Pharmacology, said that this finding is the result of 14 years of work. “During the stage of preclinical development of this product, we already had evidence of the toxic effect of the peptide on tumorous cells, by means of in Vitro studies and in animals with tumours implanted,” he said.

He added that the tests have been conducted in the certified laboratories in Europe that collaborate with LABIOFAM. Now they are working with their assistance in the evaluation of the standards of toxicological safety of this peptide.
The researcher also said that in treating the naked rats (fur-less guinea pigs) with the maximum doses (five milligrams) it has shown reductions of up to 90 percent of the tumours in the course of 36 days of evolution.

Translated by ESTI

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