23 Apr 2015

NZers help develop cancer-fighting compound

6:20 pm on 23 April 2015

Two New Zealand scientists have helped develop a cancer-fighting compound that is being trialled in America.

An evolutionary biologist takes a sample from a cell culture with tumor cells.

A cell culture with tumour cells. Photo: AFP

Adam Patterson and Jeff Smaill have spent the past decade working on the compound, called TH-4000, with a team of Auckland researchers.

They have now teamed up with American bio-technology company, Threshold Pharmaceuticals.

The compound is ready for its second phase of human trials, and will be tested on about 70 patients in America later this year.

Dr Smaill said the compound has been proven to limit the growth of tumours.

He said while the compound could help treat various types of cancer, it was particularly aimed at lung, breast and colon cancer.

It will be trialled in eight locations in America for a period of eight months.

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