Symposium on deuterium depletion: a new concept in anticancer drug development

2 April 2010

The First International Symposium on Deuterium Depletion will be held on 13-14 May 2010 in Budapest, Hungary to give researchers and medical practitioners a unique opportunity to get acquainted with a novel tool for submolecular medicine.

Hungarian company HYD LLC develops pharmaceutical and consumer products based on the recognition that the naturally occurring deuterium has a central role in the regulation of molecular mechanisms in living organisms.  Deuterium depletion is an original approach to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the body and to influence other physiological processes like glucose metabolism.

Recently, the pharmacological industry has started to develop and commercialize deuterium-containing medicines. Since deuterium, the stable and non-radiating isotope of hydrogen, is heavier than hydrogen, it therefore forms stronger chemical bonds. Strategic replacement of hydrogen atoms in therapeutics with deuterium could positively influence efficacy and side effect profiles of drugs.

In the early nineties, Hungarian molecular biologist, Gabor Somlyai, PhD recognized, that the shortage of deuterium can cause significant changes in cell processes. The most important outcome of this research carried out with deuterium-depleted water (DDW) was that tumour cells proved to be extremely sensitive to the withdrawal of deuterium.

There is evidence that the application of DDW causes a delay in cell growth of tumour cells in tissue culture. In animal experiments, DDW slowed down, halted or reversed the growth of tumours originating from malignant (neoplastic) cell lines of human origin, in immunosuppressed mice and spontenous tumours of cats and dogs.

The first anticancer drug based on deuterium depletion was registered for the treatment of household pets in 1999, it verified an efficacy of 70-80% in veterinary practice. Recent results show that the depletion of deuterium induces changes in the expression of genes, which play an already recognized role in the pathology of most cancer types.

In 2010, HYD LLC. plans to start a phase II clinical trial to investigate the antitumour effect of DDW in symptomatic, previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

HYD's approach to deuterium depletion of water and other molecules has broad potential to enhance the effectiveness of the presently available oncotherapies and result in innovative new medicines and consumer products for the treatment and prevention of cancer.

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