Bioscience

Promising skin-cancer drug nears approval

June 20, 2011

By Flinn Foundation

A promising new drug to treat advanced basal-cell skin cancer is inching closer to FDA approval. The treatment, guided through the development process by Daniel Von Hoff, TGen’s physician in chief, would mark a major milestone for Arizona bioscience leaders:

The drug, called GDC-0449, is expected to receive Food and Drug Administration approval this fall. The drug began testing in 2008 at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials in Scottsdale, a partnership between the Translational Genomics Research Institute and Scottsdale Healthcare.

It would be the first drug connected to either institution to receive FDA approval.

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“It’s the reason everyone exists and works to help somebody,” said Von Hoff, who also serves as chief scientific officer at Scottsdale Healthcare and US Oncology. “Everybody involved with this is very proud. And if it’s done once, you can do it again.”

Perhaps as exciting, the mechanism the drug targets, the “Hedgehog” pathway, may provide a target for a more widely dreaded cancer:

Scottsdale is in the early stages of testing the safety and effectiveness of GDC-0449 for treatment of other forms of cancer, including pancreatic.

Read more at the source: “Scottsdale-tested ‘miracle’ cancer drug awaits FDA approval