Professor Chris McGuigan
Professor Chris McGuigan is Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in the Welsh School of Pharmacy. His laboratory is extremely active in the discovery and development of drugs for a number of diseases. The drug FV-100, discovered and developed at Cardiff, is now in second-phase clinical trials in the USA for treatment of the Varicella Zoster (shingles) virus. This could lead on to a larger, third phase, which, if successful, could see the drug on the market within the next three years. Meanwhile another drug, for the Hepatitis C Virus, has just entered clinical trials, only 18 months after its discovery at the School of Pharmacy.
Both drugs are out-licensed to the US pharmaceutical firm Inhibitex, which is working on their development. This partnership work won Professor McGuigan the 2008 Innovation Prize in the Cardiff University Innovation Awards, which recognise academic collaboration with industry.
Professor McGuigan’s group has also worked on a number of cancers, including work on an agent for colon cancer in collaboration with Professor Alan Clarke. The team intends to take its experience and expertise in drug discovery and apply it to the basic science discoveries made by The European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute.
Professor McGuigan said: “We will want to develop the most promising agents against cancer stem cells, which can then go on for development in clinical trials. For example, we know of one agent which has had some success with brain cancer cells, and could lead to a more general approach against cancer stem cells.”