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And Now for Something Completely Different

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A company called RadioRx is trying something completely new in the development of compounds for oncology, says In the Pipeline's Derek Lowe. The company is creating a molecule for use as a radiotherapy sensitizer, designed to release reactive free radicals and "intensify the cell-killing effects of ionizing radiation," Lowe says. But the kick is that the molecule — RRx-001, RadioRx's first lead candidate — is being adapted "from an energetic solid rocket propellant," the company says. They plan to have it in phase I clinical studies in the next few months. "I truly have to salute these guys for going forward with such an out-there structure," Lowe says. "It's easy to look at something like this and mutter 'Only in oncology', but at the same time, it takes some nerve and imagination to go forward with compounds this odd. I hope that they work." Commenters on Lowe's blog had plenty to say about the new compound. "Wonder how 'energetic' it is?" quips BFS. Anon adds,"We'll have to see if this thing holds up. I, like many other I suspect, have my doubts this compound will survive the process. ... If it does, making metric tons will be fun for the process group."

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