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Schizophrenia drug aids cancer bid

A drug that was originally developed to treat schizophrenia back in the 1970s could soon be used to combat cancer, scientists have revealed.

Experts at Dundee University believe rimcazole may be suitable in helping people fight the disease, and they have now granted a licence to a drug development company.

It is then hoped that clinical trials on patients can start sometime next year.

Researchers discovered that rimcazole kills cancer cells and restricts the growth of tumours, but has very little toxic effect on healthy tissue.

Scientists said the data is "promising", and hope the drug could be combined with more conventional cancer treatments to give patients a better chance of survival.

Dr James Houston, director of research and innovation services at Dundee University, said: "We are delighted to see rimcazole progressing towards clinical trials in cancer.

"The deal with Modern Biosciences represents the culmination of years of hard and innovating work which has developed the project to a point where it is ready for clinical trials.

"The decision to develop rimcazole to this stage is an unusual and bold move by an academic organisation."

Dr Barbara Spruce led the research, and she added: "Our results lead us to believe that rimcazole will produce good antitumour effects, while crucially sparing healthy cells."

Dundee University

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