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Canadian researchers develop ‘sharpshooter’ drug to fight cancer

Dr. Tak Mak, of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, speaks during a press conference regarding the new breakthrough cancer drug that will enter clinical trials in July, 2013.

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

A Canadian-U.S. team of researchers has developed a new "sharpshooter" drug they hope will be a breakthrough in treating several types of cancer.

The experimental drug is known for now as CFI-400945 and is a new class of cancer drug that targets a certain enzyme that gives rise to some malignancies.

Those tumours include breast, ovarian, colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancers.

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The researchers have applied to Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin testing the drug in patients.

Dr. Tak Mak of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto and Dr. Dennis Slamon of the University of California, Los Angeles, led the teams that developed the drug.

The two world-renowned researchers have spent a decade developing the drug, funded solely by money raised through donations.

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