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European Biopharmaceutical Review

From Genes to Drugs

One of the biggest obstacles in the development of cancer therapeutics is the sheer complexity of the problem. Cancer may result from a large number of genetic and molecular defects, or combination of these defects, giving rise to loss of cell cycle checkpoints and unregulated cell division. Even individual tumours may exhibit heterogeneous phenotypes at the cellular level. The inherent genetic instability of cancer cells may also add to the problem, enabling them to continue to change during treatment and effectively presenting a moving target.The majority of anti-cancer therapeutics currently in use were discovered due to their ability to kill fast-growing cancer cells. Unfortunately, these often cause severe side effects due to their impact on other fast-growing cells in the body. There is, therefore, a need to design drugs that target a specific pathogenic pathway and to base the design of the drug upon the structure of its protein target.


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By Dr Bob Jackson, Executive Director of R&D at Cyclacel Dr Robert Jackson joined Cyclacel in January 2001. Prior to this he was Research and Development Director at Celltech Group plc and Executive Director, R&D and Chief Operating Officer at Chiroscience Group plc.
Before these appointments, Dr Jackson was Vice President of R&D at Agouron Pharmaceuticals and headed cancer research at DuPont Pharmaceuticals and Warner-Lambert Company. Dr Jackson has been instrumental in the discovery and development of several marketed drugs used to treat cancer, HIV and other serious diseases. He holds a BA from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from the University of London, Institute of Cancer Research.

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Dr Bob Jackson
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