Genentech's Best Idea: Chemotherapy That Won't Kill You

More

We asked biotech pioneer Genentech for its favorite new innovation. Here's what they gave us ...

615 chemo.jpg

WIKIPEDIA

The problem: Traditional chemotherapy is one of the most common cancer treatments, but it attacks both malignant and normal cells, leading to debilitating side effects. For decades, scientists have looked for ways to create more targeted drugs that attack the tumor, but leave normal cells alone.

Where great ideas really come from. A special report

The idea: Genentech calls them "armed antibodies." (Bio 101: Antibodies are special proteins produced to fight foreign molecules called antigens.) These molecules are "armed" with a high dose of chemotherapy that are delivered directly to cancer cells. By packing a potent drug inside a protein that is custom-made to deliver itself to cancer cells, Genentech hopes it can selectively kill cancer without killing normal tissue. The company has about 30 such drugs in its portfolio, ranging in stage of development from early-stage research to Phase III clinical testing.

The potential: Genentech has already developed the first therapeutic antibodies approved for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer. A breakthrough in this space would extend its pioneering technology to lung, prostate, and ovarian cancers.

Want to share your company's best idea -- or your own! -- with us for our Best Ideas series? Leave your idea in the comment section or email me a description and a photograph at dthompson@theatlantic.com.

___

The Best Ideas Series

Genentech: Chemotherapy, Without the Side-Effects

Google: A Personal Translator, on Your Phone

Under Armour: The World's Smartest Shirt

Facebook: A Social Solution to Password Security

PARC: A Better, Faster, Stronger Internet

Andreessen Horowitz: The Camera That Focuses After You Click

Duke University: A Cancer Flashlight

Siemens: The World's 1st Hybrid Electric Airplane

>

Jump to comments
Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving Money?

The US is particularly miserable at putting aside money for the future. Should we blame our paychecks or our psychology?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In