Posts Tagged ‘Alimta’

Alimta developer to be inducted into Chemistry Hall of Fame

1 Jan 2010 by under News, People, Research/Treatment

edward taylor 100x100 Alimta developer to be inducted into Chemistry Hall of FamePrinceton University announced Edward Taylor, its A. Barton Hepburn Professor of Organic Chemistry Emeritus, will be inducted into the American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame in 2010. Additionally, Taylor has been inducted into the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame and was selected to receive the 2010 Alfred Burger Award in Medicinal Chemistry from the ACS. Taylor was instrumental in the development of Alimta, a drug manufactured by Eli Lilly and Co. and approved for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in 2004.

Taylor was recently honored for his accomplishments at the Celebrate Princeton Invention reception, held Dec. 18. He developed Alimta in partnership with scientists at Eli Lilly and Co.  after spending more than 40 years on the Princeton faculty. However, he began research that would lead to the mesothelioma drug’s development while a graduate student at Cornell University.

According to a Princeton news release, Taylor became fascinated by reports of a compound obtained from spinach and liver that had a unique chemical structure with a nucleus previously only observed in the pigments of butterfly wings. The compound from liver, now known as folic acid, he found was essential for the synthesis of and , and for the growth of cells.  Taylor observed that changes to the structure of folic acid could transform it from a growth-promoting to a growth-inhibiting compound, and dedicated his career to determine how it could be used to kill cancer cells.

Since its approval by the FDA in 2004, the drug has received three additional FDA approvals, most recently in July when it became the first chemotherapy approved for use as a maintenance therapy for patients with locally advanced or metastatic nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer. Alimta has been successful in improving the quality of life and extending the lifespan of millions of cancer patients in nearly 100 countries around the world.

Taylor has previously been honored with the ACS Heroes of Chemistry Award, the International Society of Heterocyclic Chemistry Senior Award in Heterocyclic Chemistry, and the Research and Development Council of New Jersey’s Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award for Invention.


Alimta inventor Taylor establishes fund for chemistry research

21 Jan 2009 by under News, People, Research/Treatment

taylor Alimta inventor Taylor establishes fund for chemistry researchHamilton College alumnus Edward C. Taylor (’46) and his wife recently donated $1 million to Dr. Taylor’s alma mater for the establishment of an endowed fund for chemistry research at the college. Taylor is the inventor of Alimta, the most successful cancer drug worldwide, and the only cancer drug approved for the treatment of mesothelioma.

Although Hamilton is a liberal arts college, Taylor fell in love with the subject of chemistry in 1942 when he took the class as an elective to fulfill a science requirement. He credits the College’s smaller, more one-on-one class sizes with helping him form a bond with his professor, Dick Sutherland, who he says became his mentor, fostering his inante love of chemistry.

Taylor went on to earn his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Cornell University. While exploring a research topic for his doctorate thesis in organic chemistry, he came upon an article in Science magazine about a fascinating compound isolated from the human liver (now recognized as ) that was shown to be necessary to the growth of microorganims.

Researchers would discover that by modifying the compound, they could create a new compound to inhibit the growth of microorganisms. In his research, Taylor applied the compound to inhibit the growth of tumors. He developed a collaboration with drug manufacturer Eli Lilly in 1985 to help fund his studies.

After 12 years of research and development, Taylor’s compound became the cancer drug Alimta.

The Edward and Virginia Taylor Fund for Student/Faculty research in Chemistry will be part of the Hamilton College Excelsior Campaign. The fund will offer students the opportunity to pursue research in organic chemistry, biochemistry, physical chemistry and other divisions of chemical reserach beginning in the summer of 2009.


Drug combo effective for peritoneal mesothelioma

13 Oct 2008 by under News, Research/Treatment

Results at the completion of a Phase II trial researching the treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma indicate a combination of the drugs Alimta (pemetraxed) and Gemzar (gemcitabine) is effective in increasing survival time and controlling disease progression. The findings were published in the July 2008 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology and reported by Cancer Consultants, Inc.

According to the report, the study involved 20 patients treated between 2002 and 2004 who received Alimta and Gemzar every 21 days, along with folic acid, vitamin B12 and dexamethasone. Cancer Consultants reports overall response rate was 15 percent, disease control rate was 50 percent, median time to disease progression was 10.4 months and the median survival time was 26.8 months. Additionally, the report notes that toxicities were tolerable.

Cancer Consultants notes that peritoneal makes up less than 20 percent of all cases of , with pleural being more common. Peritoneal is a specific form of that affects the peritoneum, which is the serous membrane that forms the lining of the abdominal cavity.

Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of the disease, making up about 75 percent of all cases. Pleural mesothelioma affects the outer lining of the lungs and chest cavity.

Because of its relative rarity, there have been few studies of chemotherapy as a treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma, and there are no controlled trials of various treatment options available for peritoneal mesothelioma.

Traditional therapy for peritoneal mesothelioma has involved surgical debulking followed by systemic and/or intraperitoneal chemotherapy.

Cancer Consultants, which delivers educational programs and resources to more than 18 million targeted seekers of cancer information, has been producing and distributing cancer information for patients and professionals since 1998.

The publication notes that this study is one of the first devoted to systemic chemotherapy treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma and as such provides an important baseline for research.