Di­al­ing down the tox­ic ef­fects of ra­di­a­tion on can­cer pa­tients, Galera gets break­through sta­tus on Phase IIb da­ta

A biotech­nol­o­gy com­pa­ny near Philadel­phia — armed with da­ta from a Phase IIb tri­al — just got break­through sta­tus from the FDA for a drug that might re­duce the harm­ful ef­fects of ra­di­a­tion ther­a­py for can­cer pa­tients.

The com­pa­ny, Galera Ther­a­peu­tics, has an in­tra­venous drug (meant to be tak­en right be­fore ra­di­a­tion treat­ment) that might mit­i­gate the tox­ic ef­fects. Es­sen­tial­ly, when pa­tients un­der­go ra­di­a­tion, their bod­ies are over­whelmed by a com­pound called su­per­ox­ide, which is de­ployed by the im­mune sys­tem to kill in­vaders. Nor­mal­ly, the body can break down su­per­ox­ide, con­vert­ing it to hy­dro­gen per­ox­ide and mol­e­c­u­lar oxy­gen. But when un­der­go­ing in­tense ra­di­a­tion, the body can’t keep up.

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