Catalytic Olefin Metathesis in Blood

Katsunori Tanaka shows the development of an artificial metalloenzyme–Ru system as a potential catalyst for in vivo drug synthesis.

The rate of success of anticancer drugs in clinical trials is dismal, and many reasons for that have been proposed, including poor pharmacokinetics and drug bioavailability, unexpected systemic toxicity, a lack of efficacy, and drug resistance. Professor Katsunori Tanaka at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan) and the RIKEN Institute (Japan) believes that a straightforward method to solve these problems is to directly synthesize therapeutic drugs at cancer sites, thereby not only avoiding unwanted side effects on healthy tissues but also allowing for a direct evaluation of drug therapeutic effects toward various cancers. “To minimize the burden on the body and maximize therapeutic effects, a method that is biocompatible and exhibits robust catalytic ability to produce the necessary amounts of drugs in vivo is desirable,” added Professor Tanaka.

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