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Ponatinib is an anti-cancer drug which has earned some notoriety for its cost (£90,000 per patient per year) and side-effects that were serious enough to temporarily suspend its use.

Illustration of ponatinib in the RIPK2 protein Dr Peter Canning
Illustration of ponatinib in the RIPK2 protein

But the findings from a recent Cell Chemistry and Biology paper led by the Structural Genomics Consortium suggest that this 'dirty' drug might actually hold the key for coming up with newer, more effective drugs for chronic illnesses such as Crohn's and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

The Oxford Science Blog asked the first author, Dr Peter Canning (who worked on this study while at the Nuffield Department of Medicine) to explain what they found. 

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