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Oxford University spinout Argonaut Therapeutics is developing cancer drugs that reprogram cancer cells to undergo the body's natural process of cell death, shrinking tumours.

Drugs © Oleksii Fedorenko - Shutterstock

The company will focus on treatments for colorectal cancer and lymphoma.

Argonaut has raised seed funding from investment company Oxford Sciences Innovation to develop and test a set of drug candidates, as well as biomarkers that allow physicians to determine which patients are most likely to respond well to the new drugs.

Argonaut founder Professor Nick La Thangue is Chair of Cancer Biology at the University of Oxford. He said: 'Cancer drugs are relatively ineffective in as many as 70% of patients, in part due to genetic variations between patients. The demand for precision, personalised medicine is increasing. It is a cost-effective way of detecting disease earlier and it allows us to tailor therapies for each patient.

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