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Anticancer Drugs

A New Sustainable UK-Source of Clinically Proven Anticancer Drugs

Contact: Lydia Smith

Our partnership proposes to provide a new source of Etoposide, the semi-synthetic first line, treatment for testicular and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Currently, the starting material, podophyllotoxin (POD), is sourced from outside of the UK, from Podophyllum hexandrum obtained exclusively and unsustainably from wild stands following a 7-year growth cycle. Following its protected listing by CITES, trade will be interupted imminently. We propose a new source, deoxypodophyllotoxin (DOP) from an unrelated species that can be cultivated sustainably in the UK. This pilot project in association with Jack Woolley at DeMontfort University could allow UK stakeholders to supply pharmaceutical markets. Plant lines containing DOP are available, but need to be developed both genetically and agronomically. Supply of plants to extraction plants, partition into pure extracts and semi-synthesis of Etoposide will be addressed.

Funding: NIAB Trust

Collaborating Organizations: De Montfort Univeristy