Japanese Develop Capsules to Deliver Cancer Therapeutic Genes

Society Lifestyle Science Technology

Tokyo, May 31 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Toshiba Corp. <6502> and Shinshu University have said they developed supersmall biodegradable capsules to deliver therapeutic genes into cancer cells accurately and efficiently.

They claimed to have become the world's first that succeeded in a demonstration test to deliver such genes into leukemia cells by using supersmall capsules, according to their announcement made Friday.

Toshiba and Shinshu University plan to start a clinical trial within three years, hoping to put the capsules into practical use early.

At present, viruses are used as carriers of therapeutic genes. But the method leaves some infection risks during the production and the use for treatment. The capsules are safer because they are synthesized.

"Research into genetic therapies that kill cancer cells without using viruses has started only recently," Shinshu University professor Yozo Nakazawa said. "We're in the world's leading group."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press