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Fluorescent tumours in the clinic

15.12.2011

Munich/Groningen/Penzberg – For ten years, the application of image-guided surgery with tumour-specific fluorescent dyes has been limited to animal studies, because no one could predict safety or bio­distribution of such targeted dyes in patients. Now for the first time, a Dutch-German team of researchers has found a way to convince regulatory authorities that their fluorochromes are safe and can be tested on human subjects. In November, the team got the go-ahead for a Phase I study in breast cancer patients with the fluorochrome IR dye 800 CW (LI-COR Bioscience) coupled to the antibody drug Avastin (Roche).
“Our advantage is that we already have a lot of clinical data about the safety and biodistribution of the cancer therapeutic Avastin, which binds to VEGF produced by cancer cells,” said Werner Scheuer from Pharma Research & Early Development at Roche (Penzberg), who developed the anti­body-flurochrome conjugates in cooperation with Vasilis Ntziachristos (TU Munich) and Go van Dam (Medical College Groningen). In the November issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine (52(11): 1778-1785), the authors provided evidence that their cancer imaging agent behaves in animals as Avastin does in humans. For proving safety in humans, they will use microdoses of the dye – 100 times lower than the lowest dose in which the cancer drug shows an effect. “We want to statistically prove that breast cancer patients benefit from image-guided surgery with targeted fluorochromes,” explains Ntziachristos. He has developed a camera system that can identify the tumour margins with seven times better resolution than a surgeon can with the naked eye. A pipeline of antibody-fluorochrome conjugates is already being tested in animals.

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

16.12.2011

Mechelen - Galapagos NV confirms its status as one of Europe best drug discovery companies. The Belgian biotech received €4 million as the first milestone payments from French Servier for the discovery of new targets for...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

02.12.2011

Zwijnaarde/Rotterdam – In vivo camelid antibody specialist arGEN-X BVBA has baged €27.5 million of fresh capital for development of its preclinical monoclonal antibody pipeline. The round B financing of the 3 year-old company,...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

28.11.2011

Brussels/Ghent – Belgian researchers have demonstrated that tumour cells secrete the angiogenesis factor VEGF to create a microenvironment that fosters proliferation of cancer stem cells. In mice with squamous cell carcinoma,...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

23.11.2011

Mechelen – Belgian drugmaker Galapagos NV has reported impressive results of a proof-of-concept trial with its oral janus kinase 1 blocker GLPG0634 + Methothrexate in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. In the 24 patients...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

18.11.2011

Naarden – Enzyme replacement therapies specialist Oxyrane NV raised €20 million in a series D round of financing. The therapies are designed to treat lysosomal storage diseases, a class of more than forty rare inherited diseases....

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

14.11.2011

Hilden/Venlo – Sample and assay technologies provider Qiagen N.V. is set to eliminate about 10% of its current global workforce of 3,800 employees. The company says the cuts are one result of implementing a project aimed at...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

09.11.2011

New York/Ghent - Big brother is gone. Belgian biotech Ablynx regained the rights for nanobodies targeting TNF-alpha from Pfizer. The US- pharma outfit decided it did't want ATN-103, even though it met its goal in a mid-stage...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

25.10.2011

Amsterdam - The second blow could be the ultimate one. Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics received a second negative opinion for Glybera to treat lipoprotein lipase (LPL) deficiency. The European Medicines Agency's (EMA) Committee...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

13.10.2011

Bilthoven – The current impact of hospital acquired infections with multi-resistant bugs is lower than suggested by startling news articles. According to a study of Dutch researchers, bloodstream infections caused by...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

06.10.2011

Hamburg/Brussels - Evotec AG and UCB Pharma seem to be satisfied with their relationship. The Belgian pharmaceutical company entered into a second multi-year, multi-target integrated drug discovery collaboration with Evotec in...

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