Researchers from the University of Oxford have supercharged a compound derived from a fungus used in Chinese medicine, boosting its potency up to 40 times, and a phase 1 clinical trial is underway. Previous studies showed that cordycepin can kill cancer cells and retard their cancerous properties but is broken down quickly once it hits the blood stream so only a tiny amount reaches tumors. The researchers teamed up with biopharma company NuCana to devise the new chemotherapy drug, using a novel technology that can bypass resistance mechanisms that break down the anti-cancer metabolites.

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