Ohio university pharmacy students develop new drug to treat aggressive brain cancer

FINDLAY, Ohio — Pharmacy students at the University of Findlay believe they’ve developed a new drug that could target the most aggressive form of cancer occurring in the brain.

The oral compound, RK15, targets glioblastomas, an aggressive brain cancer. The disease has a 10 percent, five-year survival rate.

If it’s successful, the medication would remove the need for risky medical procedures which require physical access to brain tissue, according to the University of Findlay. 

According to the University of Findlay, medication has a hard time reaching certain parts of the brain due to a blood-brain barrier lining. By finding a compound, like RK15, that can breach the barrier, medication can then be attached to the compound to have a greater impact on the brain.

It could take years to determine the drug’s efficacy. But Associate Professor Dr. Rahul Khupse has worked with students for four years to create the compound, which is very reactive and can kill cells.

“Coming up with something out of nothing which will eventually help someone is so rewarding,” he said.

The next step for Khupse and his team is to continue research through animal testing.

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