Academic Health Center
Stay Connected

Minnelide moves forward

Cancer specialists from the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, have launched a Phase 1 clinical trial designed to assess the toxicity of Minnelide, a University of Minnesota-developed drug that has successfully disrupted pancreatic cancer development in laboratory tests.

The current trial won’t directly result in drug approval; rather clinicians will work to assess the drug’s safety and establish proper drug dosing. The trial is designed for patients who have seen their disease progress on standard therapy and have no options left to control their disease.

While University experts are optimistic about the future of Minnelide, they caution that success isn’t guaranteed. Only a small number of drugs tested in early Phase 1 trials will ultimately be approved.

According to University experts, if Phase 1 trials yield results similar to those seen in animal models while establishing the drug can be administered safely, Minnelide could gain provisional approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under their “breakthrough” designation, which could lead to expanded clinical trials.

Read more

Masonic Cancer Center researchers develop new drug to target, destroy pancreatic cancer cells

A new drug created at the University of Minnesota may hold the answer to defeating pancreatic cancer, according to results published today in the prestigious journal Science Translational Medicine.

The study is based on successful outcomes in a mouse model – results researchers expect to carry over to human patients when the drug potentially begins human trials in 2013.

The drug, Minnelide, is a type of injectable chemotherapy designed to target tumor cells.  The drug works by inhibiting a heat shock protein, HSP 70, which has been proven to aid the growth of tumor cells.  By stopping HSP 70 from working, Minnelide disperses the cells integral to the tumor’s growth and the cancer disintegrates.

Read more