Sat, Dec 21, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Researcher rewarded for creating anticancer agent

Staff writer, with CNA

A National Innovation Award for academic achievement was presented to a medical researcher on Thursday for his achievements in creating an anticancer agent and spraying device that promises to help fight lung cancer.

Chen Hueih-min (陳惠民), a researcher with the National Applied Research Laboratories’ National Nano Device Laboratory, created a novel anticancer peptide called CB1a using a natural antimicrobial peptide, cecropin B, as a template.

Chen then devised a sprayer that compresses a liquid CB1a solution into small particles that are sprayed deep into the lungs to achieve the most effective treatment.

Current cancer treatments have more complicated screening procedures and stronger side effects than the newly developed method, Chen said, adding that his agent has relatively few side effects.

The agent has passed toxicology tests and has registered patents in Taiwan and the US.

Chen is also preparing to apply for a patent for the sprayer he created, which can be used as a delivery method for other drugs.

Preclinical trials for CB1a will be completed once it passes toxicology tests that adhere to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Principles of Good Laboratory Practice, Chen said.

He estimated a NT$3 billion (US$100 million) market for the drug after the completion of its preclinical trials.

The National Innovation Awards, presented by the Taiwan-based Institute for Biotechnology and Medicine Industry, also bestowed a corporate award on General Biologicals Corp, which specializes in liver disease diagnostic devices, for devising a noninvasive technology to detect liver fibrosis.

The technology is able to assess the extent of liver fibrosis through blood sampling and can be used to detect the conditions of patients with hepatitis B, hepatitis C, alcoholic liver disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

The technology is unique and allows patients to avoid painful liver biopsies while providing doctors with highly precise diagnostic results at the same time, the corporation said.

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