Promising cancer drug gets green light for phase I

The Christus Stehlin Foundation for Cancer Research in Houston has beaten the odds against experimental cancer therapies and won the FDA's approval to launch a small phase I trial. The drug, CZ48, is derived from the Chinese Camptotheca tree. Researchers have been studying the anti-cancer potential of the tree for more than 40 years. And the Foundation has been engaged in the field since 1988.

"In more than 30 years I've never seen a drug comparable to this one," Bobby Anderson, director of development at the Stehlin Foundation, tells the Houston Business Journal. "At this point it has eradicated 91 percent of the human cancers we've tested it on with a dramatic lack of toxicity, and it's oral--that's a huge benefit."

The non-profit foundation was prompted to undertake the early-stage trial alone--hiring on a contract research organization--after a disappointing experience licensing out a similar therapy several years ago.

- read the story from the Houston Business Journal

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