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Bad actin

Targeting actin and tubulin in cancer could improve response rates

While many companies are looking beyond cytoskeletal inhibitors because of their high off-target toxicity, Novogen Ltd. has teased out a difference between normal and cancer cells in the way actin is regulated by tropomyosins. By targeting the tropomyosin Tpm3.1, the company has produced a first-in-class inhibitor of actin that destabilizes filaments and inhibits growth of neuroblastoma cells without causing widespread toxicity.

Last month, Novogen presented data at the meeting of the Cancer Molecular Therapeutics Research Association (CMTRA) showing its lead Tpm3.1 inhibitor Anisina can also synergize with microtubule inhibitors, and could improve the efficacy and response rates of standard-of-care anti-tubulin drugs. In July, Anisina received Orphan Drug designation from FDA for neuroblastoma. The compound is scheduled to enter Phase I trials in 2016.

According to Novogen's 2014 annual report, the company acquired a portfolio of anti-tropomyosin compounds from Genscreen Pty. Ltd. in

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