Human trials for Auceliciclib, a drug candidate developed by researchers at UniSA designed to treat the most aggressive forms of brain cancer, is set to begin in 2021.

Glioblastoma is the most aggressive type of brain cancer, with a 5-year survival rate of approximately 5%. Professor Shudong Wang explained that the difficulty in treating such brain cancers is primarily due to the fact that very few drugs are unable to cross the blood-brain barrier which protects the brain from toxins and pathogens circulating in the blood. Auceliciclib is revolutionary in the way that it is able to cross the blood-brain barrier with minimal toxicity.

“Auceliciclib has two key advantages over other drugs in development. It is more target-specific and therefore appears to have lower toxicity, and it can reach cancer cells in the brain more effectively.” Professor Wang says, “This will be the first clinical trial in the world of this drug.”

Auceliciclib will first be tested in Adelaide, then in clinical trial centres across the country.

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