A drug based on the Newcastle desease virus has completed its preclinical trials in Russia

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A drug for the treatment of cancer, including adenocarcinoma and glioma, based on the natural Newcastle disease virus (which has anti-cancer properties) has passed its preclinical trials at St. Petersburg Institute of Nuclear Physics named after B. P. Konstantinov. This is reported by TASS with reference to Alekdandr Shestopalov, the director of the Institute of Virology of the Federal Research Center for Fundamental and Translational Medicine (FRC FTM).

“Together with the Kurchatov Center, we have almost completed the preclinical trials of the oncolytic virus (Newcastle disease virus), and we are preparing documents to obtain permission from the Ministry of Health to conduct the first phase of clinical trials,” Shestopalov said.

According to him, a certain strain of the Newcastle disease virus has demonstrated oncolytic (anticancer) properties. It was this virus that the scientists chose. It mainly infects birds, but is not pathogenic to humans, develops well on cell cultures and retains stable oncolytic properties during cultivation, the publication notes.

According to Aleksandr Shestopalov, the Newcastle disease virus invades tumor cells and destroys them.

“This is a natural virus. Research has proved that the Newcastle disease virus has an affinity for tumor cells. The affinity is about 10,000 times higher than for healthy cells,” he explained, adding that drugs based on oncolytic viruses should be used in the complex therapy of cancer.

One of the methods of drug delivery to the tumor considered by the scientists is intravenous. This will allow the drug to target a hard-to-reach tumor, such as glioma, and metastases.