Viral Genetics, Inc., a company that develops drug compounds to treat cancer, Lyme Disease, and HIV, has received a patent for cancer treatment therapies. This patent protects cancer drugs that have used mice as clinical research subjects. Issued on March 31, 2009, the U.S. Patent Number is: 7,510,710.

M. Karen Newell, PhD., tenured professor at the University of Colorado, stated, “This patent represents the first method for treating drug resistant cancer using metabolic disruption, an approach targeting the distinct cancer-specific metabolic activities that can distinguish cancer cells in general, and many drug resistant cancer types, in specific, from normal cells in normal tissues.”

She continued, “We are very excited that the Patent Office has recognized the significance of work we first pioneered over eight years ago. The scientific community is now coming to accept the approach, metabolic disruption, as an extremely promising method for helping cancer patients.”

The new drug therapy uses metabolic disruption to treat varying forms of cancer. This process is designed to inhibit high rate glucose metabolism, characteristic of cancer cells. The drug therapy can be used in combination chemotherapy and/or in combination with etomoxir, an inhibitor of fatty acid oxidation. Drug resistant tumor cells commonly use fatty acid metabolism to meet their distinct energy requirements. Disrupting these metabolic pathways can cause death of the cancer cells without significant adverse effect on non-cancer cells.

This treatment specifically addresses patients who do not respond to chemotherapy and radiation. The growing popularity of chemotherapy drug “cocktails” has given rise to multidrug resistant tumor cells that are even more difficult to destroy. Although both treatments destroy a significant number of tumor cells, a small number remains, which can grow into a new, treatment resistant tumor. With each round of chemotherapy, the proportion of drug resistant cells to drug sensitive cells increases. Eventually, the cancer becomes increasingly difficult to treat.

“Drug resistance, either acquired or inherent, is the leading cause of death in cancer, a disease that kills at least 6.2 million people worldwide annually,” said Viral Genetics CEO Haig Keledjian. “Our new therapy takes aim at that process.”