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Published January 19, 2017
Volume 1, Number 1



Astex Pharmaceuticals is Beating Cancer from the Inside



By Tina Hansen
Pulse Writer


The body is a complex network of organs, cells and pathways, and today when something goes wrong, you no longer have to rely on old protocols for answers because of recent biomedical breakthroughs that have led to opportunities to discover new drugs. New modes of medical and pharmacological innovations are now bringing hope to patients diagnosed with what were once life threatening illnesses.

Astex Pharmaceuticals, whose clinical development headquarters is in Pleasanton, is a pharmaceutical company that is at the forefront of biomedical technology and their advancements are making a life changing impact in the fight against cancer by discovering and developing new drugs.

Recognized as a pioneer and global leader, Astex Pharmaceuticals considers itself to be a "big venture company" with a comprehensive and integrated approach to their singular goal of finding innovative solutions in oncology drugs and cancer treatment.  The work they are doing is at the center of future discoveries in the pharmaceutical industry.

Currently, the company has eight proprietary products and investigational compounds that are in various stages of clinical development. They are also beginning to focus on neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease with the development of a proprietary technology they call Pyramid™ Discovery Platform.

The company recently announced it has started new clinical trials to explore treatment of acute myeloid leukemia. "We are delighted that these exciting studies have the potential to open up new therapeutic options with enhanced outcomes for patients with a range of cancer types, says Mohammad Azab, Astex Pharmaceuticals President and Chief Medical Officer.

Their proprietary programs are designed to deliver customized, high-quality drugs that could potentially provide improved therapeutic options for a variety of diseases. They also have drugs currently being clinically tested for the treatment of solid tumors.

"The data from these clinical studies helps to validate the development of these agents for the treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), potentially providing new treatment options for patients with these aggressive hematological malignancies" said Azab.

Last year Dr. Alison Woolford, Associate Director of Chemistry at Astex Pharmaceuticals' drug discovery headquarters located in Cambridge, UK received the 7th Annual Capps Green Zomaya Award for Medicinal and Computational Chemistry. The award acknowledges outstanding contributions made by young scientists and was in recognition of Dr. Woolford's work on the groundbreaking application of bringing a new pharmaceutical drug into clinical testing for the treatment of cancer.

Of course in California melanoma is a huge issue, but according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California is among the states with the lowest cancer incidences in the country. In Alameda County, cancer accounts 24 percent of all deaths, followed by heart disease at 21 percent.

For more information about Astex Pharmaceuticals, please visit their website astx.com.