Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Cancer-starving compound to be tested

25 May 2012, 09:37

 Hong Kong - Drug company Sanofi-Aventis plans to begin testing a novel compound that is designed to starve liver cancer to death in a phase one human clinical trial in China and possibly South Korea in 2013.

The compound, called slit-trap, was developed by its Chinese collaborator, Shanghai Institutes of Biological Sciences, and will soon be ready for a "first-in-man" trial.

"It is now in pre-clinical [stage] and is going into clinic early next year," chief executive officer Christopher Viehbacher said in an interview in Hong Kong.

The personalised therapy is tailored for a certain type of liver cancer patients who have high levels of a protein called slit, which nourishes the tumour and helps it spread to other parts of the body.

"If you block slit, you essentially starve the cancer to death," said Frank Jiang, Sanofi-Aventis vice-president and head of research and development in the Asia Pacific.

The company is working on ways to identify such patients who can best respond to this therapy, he said.


Though rare in the west, liver cancer is serious in Asia due to the prevalence of hepatitis B infection, which is as high as 10% in China's population of 1.3 billion people.

Chronic hepatitis B infection can result in liver cirrhosis and liver cancer later in life.

The French drug maker is uncertain what percentage of liver cancer patients in China may respond to the therapy.
"But in China, even 10% of liver cancer patients would be an incredible number," Jiang said.

In China, there are about 350 000 new liver cancer cases each year, or half of the world's total.

China, one of Sanofi's biggest emerging markets, accounts for less than 5% of its global sales. But it is growing at a much faster pace than the company's other emerging markets.

"Certainly, in five years time, you will expect China probably will be our number one emerging market," Viehbacher said. "A lot more of the growth in China has been organic."

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...