The company, Spirogen Ltd, is developing ground-breaking drugs which target cancer with “warhead-like accuracy” without destroying healthy cells. Some of its drugs are now in Phase II clinical trials.
David Thurston (pictured), now Professor of Drug Discovery at King’s College London, headed a research group at the University of Portsmouth between 1987 and 1999. He co-founded Spirogen in 2000
While at Portsmouth, Professor Thurston’s research team developed a novel DNA binding drug which is now undergoing Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of ovarian cancer and leukaemia.
Spirogen also specialises in antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), which represent a clinically-validated cancer drug technology that offers and the selective targeting of cancer cells with high potency. This targeting mechanism optimises the delivery of the cancer drug to tumour cells and provides the greatest degree of tumour cell killing while minimising the toxicity to the patient.
Professor Thurston, together with Professor Geoff Kneale, Professor of Biomolecular Science, co-founded the Institute of Biomedical and Biomolecular Sciences (IBBS) 15 years ago as one of the University’s flagship research institutes
Professor Kneale said: “It is very rewarding when the fundamental research we started in IBBS many years ago is translated into the clinic. It gives me great confidence that much of the research we are currently engaged in will find equally successful clinical applications, with a real impact on people’s lives.”
This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.