Temozolomide sales reach $1 billion

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

Sales of Temozolomide, an anti-cancer drug developed by Cancer Research UK scientists, have reached $1 billion.

The charity receives a percentage royalty on these sales, which it uses to invest in new research to beat cancer.

Temozolomide - a chemotherapy drug for patients with the most common form of brain tumour - was discovered 30 years ago in a Cancer Research UK laboratory led by Professor Malcolm Stevens, then at Aston University in Birmingham.

The charity also undertook the first clinical trials of the drug which proved its activity against glioblastoma multiforme - the most aggressive type of brain tumour accounting for over 50 per cent of all primary cases of the disease.

Based on these phase I and phase II trials - which were managed by Cancer Research UK's Drug Development Office - the charity's commercial and development arm Cancer Research Technology ( CRT) licensed the drug to Schering-Plough which now markets the drug. The company undertook the pivotal phase III studies which found that temozolomide, when given in combination with radiotherapy, results in a significant increase in survival with minimal side effects.

Dr Keith Blundy, chief executive of CRT, said: "We're delighted that Temozolomide has achieved sales of over $1 billion. We're extremely proud of our involvement in the licensing of Temozolomide as it has proved to be an effective treatment for people with brain tumours who otherwise have very limited treatment options.

"The royalties we receive from the sales of Temozolomide go straight back into the pot to fund further research to aid the development of even more drugs to help in our fight against the disease."

The standard of care for glioblastoma multiforme - also known as glioma - includes chemotherapy during and after radiotherapy. The use of temozolomide both during radiotherapy and for six months post radiotherapy is now the gold standard treatment for most cases of the disease. Temozolomide works by killing cancer cells and sensitising them to the effects of radiation.

Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer esearch UK, said: "This milestone highlights the significant impact our research is having on cancer drug development. It is testament to the ingenuity of the scientists who developed the original compound as well as the unique capabilities of our drug development and technology transfer teams."

Cancer Research UK scientists have contributed to the discovery or early clinical development of 5-10 per cent of all major cancer treatments currently in clinical use around the world and has taken over 100 new drugs into patients for the first time.

Harpal Kumar continued: "This is just the latest example in a long list of successful treatments that have come out of Cancer Research UK funded research. Our scientists helped to discover and develop two of the most widely used cancer drugs in the world - carboplatin and cisplatin - which are used to treat ovarian, lung and testicular cancer.

"We also have a very exciting pipeline of almost 50 new drugs currently in clinical trials which could provide further significant weapons in the fight against cancer. Of these, several are in phase III development, including three potential new drugs for lung cancer, a disease in which we have sadly made little progress over the past few decades.

"Today's news is a fantastic example of how the public's investment, through their generous donations, in Cancer Research UK pays off."

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
Post

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Ultrasound technology breaks blood-brain barrier for glioblastoma treatment