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Researcher wins award for anticancer agent

TAIPEI--A National Innovation Award for academic achievement was presented to a medical researcher Thursday for his achievements in creating an anticancer agent and spraying device that promises to help fight lung cancer.

Chen Hueih-min, a researcher with the National Nano Device Laboratories under the National Applied Research Laboratories, generated the novel anticancer peptide called CB1a using a natural antimicrobial peptide, Cecropin B, as a template.

He then devised a sprayer that is able to compress liquid CB1a solution into small particles that are sprayed deep into the lungs to achieve the most effective treatment.

Current cancer treatments have more complicated screening procedures and stronger side effects than the newly developed method, Chen said, adding that his agent has relatively few side effects.

The agent has passed toxicology tests and has registered patents in both Taiwan and the United States. Chen is also preparing to apply for a patent for the innovative sprayer, which can also be used for other drugs.

Preclinical trials for CB1a will be completed once it passes toxicology tests that adhere to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)'s Principles of Good Laboratory Practice, Chen said.

He estimated a NT$3 billion (US$100 million) market for the drug after the completion of its preclinical trials.

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