Experimental drug shows good early results in reducing leukaemia cells

The drug candidate, ABT-199, inhibits the BCL-2 protein, which is thought to be involved in resistance to conventional cancer treatment.

Another drug in clinical trials, navitoclax, also inhibits the BCL-2 protein as well as the BCL-XL protein, which causes a decrease in the number of circulating platelets and can lead to thrombocytopenia.

An international team, involving researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI), believe thrombocytopenia may be avoided with ABT-199 to its lack of BCL-XL inhibition.

The first-in-human trial in patients with refractory chronic lymphocytic