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2 November 2001 News Update


A new cancer therapeutics company is being established by Auckland UniServices Ltd to draw on the research of scientists in Auckland and the United Kingdom.

The company, Proacta Therapeutics Ltd, will be based in Auckland and has been founded jointly with Cancer Research Ventures Ltd (CRV) and the Institute of Cancer Research, both based in London.

CEO of UniServices Dr John Kernohan said the company marks a welcome example of the brain drain in reverse.

Proacta holds 21 patent families for novel prodrugs that are only activated within solid tumous. The drugs potentially avoid severe and unpleasant side effects associated with conventional cancer treatments.

The company has signed a licensing agreement with an American therapeutics company for rights to a class of cell-killing drugs Proacta scientists have discovered.

Proacta is also negotiating licence agreements and research partnerships with other companies in the UK and US, especially in respect to progressing gene therapy applications.

Seed funding has been secured in New Zealand, and the company will seek $4 to $5 million from private investors to fund further expansion.

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