ALN-VSP Cancer Drug?

There is a new drug named ALN-VSP that apparently could be a big breakthrough for patients who have cancer.

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, a leading RNAi therapeutics company, announced that it has initiated a Phase I human clinical trial of ALN-VSP to evaluate its safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics in patients with advanced cancers.

How does this new drug works? Can anyone explain to me how ALN-VSP helps patients who are suffering from cancer?

asked by Firm in Drugs & Medicine | 7837 views | 08-26-2010 at 09:12 PM

ALN-VSP triggers a rarely used defense mechanism in the body to silence cancerous genes. Whereas conventional drugs stop disease-causing proteins, ALN-VSP uses RNA interference (RNAi) therapy to stop cells from making proteins in the first place, a tactic that could work for just about any disease.

ALN-VSP is designed to target two genes critical in the growth and development of cancer: kinesin spindle protein, or KSP, required for tumor proliferation; and vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF, required for tumor growth. Pre-clinical data in mouse tumor model studies have demonstrated robust efficacy of ALN-VSP, including suppression of targeted genes, demonstration of an RNAi mechanism of action, tumor reduction, and extension of survival.

Alnylam plans to enroll an additional 36 patients in the ALN-VSP trial and increase the dosage, but the early results are good enough to suggest that it could be among the first RNAi therapies to hit the market.

answered by Courtney | 08-26-2010 at 09:13 PM

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