BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

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.

Politics / Law, BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

29.04.2009

Brussels – EuropaBio, the European bioindustries association, has named patient-centred healthcare systems as a new policy priority until 2010. In its healthcare manifesto 2009 (www.europabio.org), which was published just before...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

29.04.2009

Leiden – Dutch Pharming Group NV has secured its financial future for the next three years. The structured financing provided by YA Global Ltd. has a volume of EUR20m. The new agreement gives Pharming the option to take up YA...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

29.04.2009

Zwijnaarde – ActoGeniX NV has enlarged its equity financing round, up EUR2m from the EUR13.5m originally planned. The funds come from existing investors Gimv, Biotech Fund Flanders, Baekeland Fund, VIB (Belgium), LSP, Aescap...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

29.04.2009

Gent – A highly disputed field trial with genetically modified poplars has received the final go from the authorities and is now about to begin. The GM trees, which were developed at the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for...

Clinical Trial, BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

29.04.2009

Belgian Ablynx NV (Ghent) will enter Phase II clinical testing with its anticoagulant bivalent antibody fragment ALX-0081, after a Phase Ib study with 19 volunteers suggested complete inhibition of its target, the van Willebrand...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

21.02.2009

Brussels/Versailles – The environmental and biological sciences dominate the list of 10 research infrastructures that have just been added to the European Roadmap for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). In the biological and...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

21.02.2009

Ghent – Dutch vaccine specialist Crucell NV has gained approval for its recombinant hepatitis B vaccine Hepavax-Gene in China, which is the largest single vaccine market in the world. Crucell announced that its marketing efforts...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

21.02.2009

Ghent – The Belgian Supreme Administrative Court has suspended a decision by two Belgian ministers to forbid a field trial with genetically modified (GM) poplars. The GM trees would have modified lignin content aimed at making...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

21.02.2009

Amsterdam – At the end of 2008, Life Sciences Partners achieved a first closing of its LSP IV fund at EUR 75m. Backed by existing and new LSP investors from both Europe and the United States, the venture capital fund is to be...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

20.02.2009

New York/Brussels – The recruitment of patients for clinical trials is shifting from letter-based to electronic approaches, a trend underlined in December when US-drug giant Pfizer Inc. and mobile messaging provider Exco InTouch...

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