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Cancer drug discovery: unravelling the mysteries of halichondrin

November 05, 2019 / CHRIS LO

A joint Harvard-Eisai project has achieved a breakthrough by fully synthesising the highly potent anti-cancer molecule halichondrin, sourced from marine sponges, at scale. It has taken 30 years of research to reach this point, so what has made halichondrin synthesis so difficult, and what are the implications for the treatment of cancer now that the molecule can be synthesised for clinical testing?