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Platinum Metals Rev., 1979, 23, (2), 53

Platinum Drug Receives Governmental Approval for Anti-Tumour Applications

  • M. J. C.
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The platinum co-ordination complex cis -Pt(NH3)2Cl2 was first shown to have potent activity against animal cancers in 1969 by Professor Barnett Rosenberg and Loretta Van Camp at Michigan State University. After many years of toxicological evaluation and human clinical trials this compound has now received official approval as a drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Association (December 1978) and the U.K. Department of Health and Social Security (March 1979). The drug is marketed by the Bristol Myers Company under the name of Platinol in the U.S.A. and Neoplatin in the U.K. It has been specifically approved for chemotherapy of testicular and ovarian cancers although trials on other tumours are proving promising in the clinic. Similar approvals are being sought in nineteen other countries at the present time.

The Johnson Matthey Group and Rustenburg Platinum Mines have played an active role in the development of this drug which is likely to be the first of a new class of antitumour agent. Professor Rosenberg’s work was supported by thetwo companies from the very beginning while much of the chemical characterisation, analytical and stability data necessary for governmental approval was generated at the Johnson Matthey Research Centre.

Production development work and quality control studies were carried out at Matthey Bishop Inc. in the U.S.A. which houses the only approved production facility for the pure bulk drug.

Many groups throughout the world are at present working to advance platinum chemotherapy by developing superior drugsand by obtaining a better understanding of their mode of action. Clinical trials on several new compounds are scheduled for 1979.

An article by Dr. Eve Wiltshaw, of the Royal Marsden Hospital, on the clinical development of cis -Pt(NH3)2Cl2 will appear in the July issue of this journal.

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