Trial results for ONO / GS-4059, a potential blood cancer treatment, have been published by the University of Leicester and Leicester hospitals.
ONO / GS-4059 targets BTK, a protein essential for the survival and proliferation of tumour cells. It is being developed to treat chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients who have resisted current chemotherapies.
Around 90 patients, 28 from Leicester, were enrolled in UK and French trial centres.
The trial began in January 2012, and evaluated the new drug’s efficacy.
During the study, patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia showed the best response, without any notable toxicities.
University of Leicester department of cancer studies Dr Harriet Walter said: "These patients were confronted with a cruel reality. They had failed multiple chemotherapy lines and there were no other treatment options available for them.
"This drug has changed their lives. From desperate and tired, they are now leading a normal and really active life."
The drug is expected to be trialled in combination with additional targeted agents, with recruitment likely begin soon in Leicester.
A team of scientists at the Haematological Research Institute are currently studying the functions of ONO / GS-4059, and exploring how to overcome potential resistance to the drug.
The trial was funded by ONO Pharmaceuticals.