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Nov 21, 2006

Chi-Med and Merck to Discover Small Molecule Anti-Cancer Drugs

  • Chi-Med’s wholly owned drug R&D subsidiary Hutchinson MediPharma and Merck signed a collaboration agreement for future joint research efforts focusing on discovering novel anti-cancer drugs derived from natural products that modulate oncological pathways. Financial details were not disclosed.

    Chi-Med sees Traditional Chinese Medicine as a major, under-exploited reservoir for the development of novel drugs for the global pharmaceutical market and for developing new products for the global health and beauty consumer markets. Plants, particularly those that have been used as traditional medicines, have a long-established record of efficacy and safety.

    Samantha Du, Ph.D., CSO and executive vp of Chi-Med, said, “The goal of this collaboration is to leverage the expertise of both Merck and Chi-Med in oncology research. This collaboration will allow us to address important unmet medical needs by accessing natural products, a rich source of diversified chemical components with drug-like properties.”

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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