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December 11, 2015.
Clinical researchers at St George’s, University of London, U.K. have used crowd-funding methods based on donations and rewards to raise cash for a Phase II trial in 140 bowel cancer patients on the FutSci platform.
The campaign has reached its target of £50,000 (approximately $75K) in the first 45 days, according to Dr Deepika Kassen, PhD, Director of FutSci. To date it has been backed by 320 people from 16 countries and has raised £53,088.88 ($80564.76). There are still 10 days left of the campaign.
Scientists plan to use the funds to repurpose Artesunate, an antimalarial drug discovered by Nobel Prize Laureate (2015) Tu Youyou, in a clinical trial aimed at cutting the rate of metastases in colorectal cancer.
The campaign is a collaboration between the researchers, FutSci, Bowel Disease UK and the Anticancer Fund. The researchers are using the money to top-up funds they already have from charity. Budget cuts mean the research is not funded by government/institutional bodies, and the pharmaceutical industry is not interested because it is a relatively cheap drug, noted Kassen.
More information is available at www.futsci.com/project/antimalarial-cancer.