The TYK2 inhibitor was assessed as part of a feasibility study to see whether it might work in t-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL), which occurs in late childhood and early adolescence.
Chief scientific officer Dr John Reader tells Proactive: ''TYK2 is believed to play a role in the process by which cancer cells avoid cell death. It's a very important protein in the immune system so lots of the components of the immune system, which are generally the white blood cells, rely on TYK2 for their function.''
''What we're trying to develop here is a targeted therapy rather than using effectively poisons, which are what chemotherapy is - this is more of a rational approach where we're looking to tackle the Achilles heel of the cancer'', Dr Reader added.
The early-stage work was supported by Innovate UK and a grant of £140,000.