Russian scientists conducted preclinical tests of an anti-cancer virus

Russian scientists conducted preclinical tests of an anti-cancer virus
Russian scientists conducted preclinical tests of an anti-cancer virus
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The virus testing phase for smallpox vaccine-based cancer therapy has been successfully completed. Now scientists are planning to obtain approval for the first phase of clinical trials.

Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

The Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences in cooperation with the Center for Virology and Biotechnology "Vector" has completed preclinical tests on animals of a drug for the treatment of cancer, created on the basis of the neutralized vaccinia virus, RIA Novosti reports with reference to the deputy director of the institute for scientific work Vladimir Richter …

The tests were successful: according to the results, the drug has demonstrated its effectiveness against several types of cancer at once, especially against breast tumors. Soon they plan to start trials with the participation of people - permission for the first stage of research should be issued by the Ministry of Health. If all stages of the trials are successful, registration and mass production of the drug can start as early as 2022.

“The first stage is an assessment of the safety of the drug in humans and will be carried out in St. Petersburg. We already have a complete package of documents for the first stage of the "clinic". The Novosibirsk company "Vector-BiAlgam" plans to produce the drug, - said Richter.

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The scientists took the vaccinia virus as the basis of the drug, cutting out from its genome two genes responsible for virulence (the ability to cause disease or death of an organism is measured in the number of viral particles of an infectious agent necessary for infection). After that, they added two other genes there that enhance oncolytic activity.

“Once in the body, the virus finds a tumor cell, infects it and begins to multiply there (while healthy cells remain unaffected). On the one hand, it produces proteins that kill this cell, and on the other, it manages to multiply in it and, getting into the bloodstream, begins to spread throughout the body and look for other targets. Accordingly, we have a drug that effectively suppresses the underlying tumor, seeks and suppresses the growth of metastases, and is essentially a self-producing drug. That is, theoretically, a single introduction of it into the body allows for a sufficiently long time period to preserve its antitumor activity,”explained Richter.

Earlier, a research group from the Institute of Biodesign at the University of Arizona also came close to creating a universal and relatively inexpensive cancer vaccine that works against several types of cancer at once. And scientists from New Zealand have bred genetically modified goats, whose milk contains a cure for cancer.

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