An Irish biotech company has developed a treatment for advanced cancer using a powerful protein found in rattlesnake venom and will begin human trials of the treatment this week, reports the IrishTimes.

Celtic Biotech, founded in 2003 by businessmen John Reid and Dr Paul Reid, discovered the protein, which causes malignant cancer cells to self-destruct, and has been researching the protein's anti-cancer properties for the last seven years.

It has applied for a number of patents and has highlighted its findings in scientific journals.


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Two independent studies, by the US National Cancer Institute and University of Texas MD Anderson cancer center, have confirmed the protein's anti-cancer properties.

Celtic Biotech will begin testing the drug known as CB24 on patients at the George Pompidou University Hospital in Paris, under the supervision of consultant specialist Jacques Medioni.

Former assistant US surgeon general, Dr Roscoe Moore jnr, who is on Celtic Biotech’s scientific board of advisers, says that CB24 provides a “promising approach."