New sugar-based drug to stop breast cancer spreading - Research • Breast Cancer Foundation NZ

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New sugar-based drug to stop breast cancer spreading

Dr Olga Zubkova - Victoria University's Ferrier Institute
Dr Olga Zubkova - Victoria University's Ferrier Institute
June 2017
Research Grant

What is the problem and who is affected?

Scientists have identified an enzyme called heparanase that causes breast cancers to spread. But the cost of producing an anti-heparanase drug that’s safe for breast cancer patients is exorbitant – $380,000 per gram!

What is this research hoping to achieve?

Dr Olga Zubkova and her team of carbohydrate chemists at Victoria University’s Ferrier Institute have figured out a much simpler design for a safe anti-heparanase drug – it could cost a thousand times less! We’re giving her $100,000 to investigate this new drug as part of the five-year BCFNZ Ferrier Breast Cancer Research Programme.