Abstract: Nature has been instrumental as a source for therapeutics. Despite the fact that we live in an oceanic planet, a number of technical factors have historically hampered the evolution of a marine-based chamanic medicine. With the implementation of scuba diving tools and the development of sophisticated instruments for the isolation and elucidation of structures of natural products from marine organisms, major advances have been made in the discovery of marine derived therapeutics. The availability of ARA-C, a nucleoside analog that is a basic component in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia, and its fluorinated analog Gemcitabine, an important therapeutic tool in the treatment of pancreatic cancer and in non small cell lung cancer, is a solid proof and validation of the potential of this approach. As a result of our discovery and developmental program, three innovative compounds with novel mechanisms of action: ET-743, AplidinR and Kahalalide F, have been shown to display a positive therapeutic index and activity in resistant solid tumors that supports the ongoing clinical phase III/II trials. ET-743 represents the first active agent against sarcomas developed in the past 25 years and has demonstrated a therapeutic potential in pretreated ovarian cancer. Several chemical entities are under advanced preclinical testing and additional candidates for clinical development are emerging, including compounds hitting a specific target. Moreover, the development of a given marine candidate implies the collaboration of an interdisciplinary team special focused on supply, formulation, pharmacogenetics and preclinical toxicology.
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Jimeno, J.; Faircloth, G.; Sousa-Faro, J.F.; Scheuer, P.; Rinehart, K. New Marine Derived Anticancer Therapeutics ─ A Journey from the Sea to Clinical Trials. Mar. Drugs 2004, 2, 14-29.
Jimeno J, Faircloth G, Sousa-Faro JF, Scheuer P, Rinehart K. New Marine Derived Anticancer Therapeutics ─ A Journey from the Sea to Clinical Trials. Marine Drugs. 2004; 2(1):14-29.
Jimeno, J.; Faircloth, G.; Sousa-Faro, JM F.; Scheuer, P.; Rinehart, K. 2004. "New Marine Derived Anticancer Therapeutics ─ A Journey from the Sea to Clinical Trials." Mar. Drugs 2, no. 1: 14-29.