Cancer Drug by Survivors for Survivors

Quite often I read press releases from enormous pharmaceutical companies touting this or that drug, and no matter what the results of their study, there's generally very little identity behind it all, and it's very easy (and generally wise) to be cynical about what information they're issuing.

The process of inventing a drug and bringing it to market is simply too expensive for there to be room for anyone but large firms with tremendous capital. For that reason, I'm not sure what to make out of IGF Oncology, but I like what I see.

This recently-created company is working on their first drug, a proprietary IGF-methotrexate conjugate—a drug that does what the chemo drug methotrexate does, but much more effeciently and with substantially less harm to healthy cells.

In their own words, their drug is "an engineered variant of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), long-R3-IGF-1, which was designed to target methotrexate to tumor cells that overexpress the membrane IGF-1 receptor."

Early studies, published in the journal Translational Research suggest they might have a winner on their hands.

But here's something you don't read about often: IGF Oncology was founded by a Ph.D biochemist (and patent attorney) named Hugh McTavish who also happens to be a two-time survivor of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, treated with both chemo and radiation. Those experiences inspired him to found IGF Oncology: As quoted by Medical News Today, McTavish said, "The idea came to me around the time I was throwing up in a bathroom stall at a movie theater during my chemotherapy."

Before recently, there wasn't any room in the automotive industry for small businesses with big ideas. Could the pharmaceutical industry be changing that way too? Seems unlikely, but I certainly hope so.

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