Clinical trials are to begin on a new drug developed to treat ovarian cancer.
The therapeutic drug designed to slow tumour growth in the advanced stages of the disease has been created by Co Armagh-based biopharmaceutical company Almac Discovery in conjunction with experts from Queen's University, Belfast. The scientists have been working on ALM201 for over six years, with the process now reaching the clinical trial stage.
There are around 7,000 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK each year. The most common type is high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC), which accounts for at least 70% of cases.
Almac Discovery said in the last two decades treatment has progressed very little, with five-year survival figures remaining unchanged for advanced disease. It is hoped ALM201 could also be used to treat other forms of cancer.
Stephen Barr, president of Almac Discovery, said: "Almac Discovery has worked for a number of years on this project and we are delighted to be entering clinical trials. This is a significant step in tailoring patient therapy and we are excited to be involved in advancing human health in this way."
If the clinical trial is successful, it is thought the earliest the drug could be available would be 2022.