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Tekmira Cleared to Begin Phase I Testing of Cancer Drug

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Tekmira Pharmaceuticals said this week that it has received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration to being phase I testing of the siRNA-based cancer drug TKM-PLK1.

"With this approval, we remain on track to achieve the company's milestone of initiating a phase I human clinical trial in patients with advanced solid tumors before the end of the year," Tekmira President and CEO Mark Murray said in a statement.

The drug is comprised of an siRNA designed to silence polo-like kinase 1, a cell cycle protein implicated in tumor cell proliferation, and a novel lipid delivery vehicle, the company said. "PLK1 has been implicated as a target in a number of significant cancer indications including colorectal, breast, non-small cell lung, and ovarian cancers," it added.

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