Positive Cancer Research At UWindsor Could Stall At Trials

A University of Windsor professor who led research into a cancer treatment breakthrough has concerns about it getting to a clinical trial.

Dr. Siyaram Pandey and his team did cellular and animal testing on synthetic compounds developed by professors at Brock and McMaster University.

They hold patents for the compound called pancratistatin.

Those compounds synthesize an extract of the Spider Lily plant, which occur in quantities too small to use.

Dr. Pandey says the testing done here has shown the compounds are exceptional at targeting and killing cancer cells without damage to normal cells.

He says the next stage is for a major pharmaceutical firm to take the patented compound to a clinical trial.

Dr. Pandey says one of the hurdles is testing their safety for use in humans which would see Health Canada or any health agency being very careful in approving it for human intake doing toxicological and other efficacy work.

He says pharmaceutical companies already have many chemotherapy drugs in clinical trials: "this is a brand new compound it is up to the company to take this compound and put it far ahead of their compound in the pipeline and start working on it to they will put them in the pipeline somewhere behind other compounds which they have already been working on"

Dr. Pandey says the recent history of chemotherapy development at the pharmaceutical firms has been to alter the existing one to extend the patent.

The research at the University of Windsor involved cells in petrie dishes and mice genetically modified to simulate human biology.