Drug discovery project

Drug discovery project

Institute: UNSW Australia
Recipient: Professor Peter Gunning
Funding: $5,884,000 July 2010 to June 2018

This project holds implications for the way all cancers are treated in the future.

The architecture of a cancer cell has long been a target of scientists seeking new cancer treatments. However, because the building blocks of a cancer cell mirror those of the heart and muscles, all attempts to target cancer cells in this way have previously failed.

Led by Professor Gunning, the UNSW research team have discovered a new class of drugs called anti-tropomyosins (ATMs), that force a cancer cell to self-destruct without impacting any of the healthy cells around it. Work continues in the lab to evolve this discovery and transform it into a viable clinical treatment option. 

“It is much like what happens when you see a building collapse on the TV news. Our drug causes the structure of the cancer cell to collapse – and it happens relatively quickly.” - Professor Peter Gunning Head of Oncology Research, UNSW