Bench to Bedside: New drugs for women’s health
The Medicinal Chemistry Group has pioneered a prototype drug to treat postmenopausal women with hormone-dependent breast cancer (HDBC)/
Led by Professor Barry Potter from Pharmacy & Pharmacology, the group has pioneered a prototype drug to treat postmenopausal women with hormone-dependent breast cancer (HDBC). The drug inactivates an enzyme called steroid sulfatase (STS) in breast cancer cells. Developed through Sterix Ltd, a university spinout company formed in 1998 by Professor Potter and the late Professor Michael Reed of Imperial College London, the drug has now secured patents in 21 countries wordwide. Sterix later became part of the Ipsen group.
Research shows that the drug, currently in clinical trials for breast and prostate cancer, also has clinical potential in hormone-dependent endometriosis, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer and skin disorders.
“Our work has lead to the discovery of a 'first in class' drug candidate that has reached clinical trials targeting hormone-dependent tumours," says Professor Potter. "It is a rare achievement for an academic group."
For this research, Professor Potter, the late Professor Reed, and senior members of the team have been recognised by the award of two major Royal Society of Chemistry medals and an International Achievement Award. They have created an increasing research funding stream back into their universities through Sterix and the formation of university academic-industry partnerships.
"We discovered the first potent steroid sulfatase inhibitors, achieved technology transfer and drug translation into cancer patients. We pioneered whole new areas of drug research that have been actively taken up by the pharmaceutical industry,” adds Professor Potter.
To use synthetic medicinal chemistry, computational chemistry, and structural biology in translational medicine to develop and exploit novel drug candidates for unmet clinical needs.
News and related information
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- Bath scientists share a top prize for cancer drug research
- Professor Barry Potter wins Royal Society of Chemistry Chemical Biology Medal
- Winners of GLaxoSmithKLine International Achievement Award announced at BPC
- Bath Professor elected to prestigious European Academy
- £375K Wellcome Trust grant awarded to fund new Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility
- Academy honour for Bath medicinal chemist
- Barry Potter's publications