Scientists in the UK have developed a new pill from the popular vegetable broccoli that can fight cancer by reducing the chance of it striking, slowing its growth and halting its spread. The same substance can also be extracted from humbler vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower.
Dr Stephen Franklin, chief executive of drug company Evgen Pharma, said that a wealth of academic research has identified the anti-cancer and neuroprotective properties of sulforaphane, a naturally occurring but highly unstable compound found in broccoli and other vegetables.
He said that their ''exciting'' Sulforadex technology unlocks the commercial potential of sulforaphane for the first time through the creation of a patented, stabilised version which can be delivered as a tablet or capsule.
Evgen plans to float on the stock exchange to rise up to £20 million to help fund studies with 50 breast cancer patients at The Christie Hospital in Manchester, 90 brain haemorrhage patients in Southampton, and prostate cancer sufferers in the US.
Sulforaphane is found in vegetables of the brassica family, including brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage, but is present in particularly high levels in broccoli.