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Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2002 Jul;1(7):493-502.

Glivec (STI571, imatinib), a rationally developed, targeted anticancer drug.

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  • 1Novartis Pharma AG, S-27 2.033, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland. renaud.capdeville@pharma.novartis.com


In the early 1980s, it became apparent that the work of pioneers such as Robert Weinberg, Mariano Barbacid and many others in identifying cancer-causing genes in humans was opening the door to a new era in anticancer research. Motivated by this, and by dissatisfaction with the limited efficacy and tolerability of available anticancer modalities, a drug discovery programme was initiated with the aim of rationally developing targeted anticancer therapies. Here, we describe how this programme led to the discovery and continuing development of Glivec (Gleevec in the United States), the first selective tyrosine-kinase inhibitor to be approved for the treatment of a cancer.

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