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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.

BioPeople, BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

19.03.2008

Naarden – Dutch antibody specialist Pan-Genetics BV has closed a €13 million series B round led by ABN AMRO Capital, with participation from Credit Agricole Private Equity and Series A seed investor Index Ventures. In connection...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

19.03.2008

Brussels – The Belgian government is seeking to foster corporate investment in technological innovation with tax breaks. A new law that has come into effect this year will grant patent owners tax exemptions on 80% of their patent...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

19.02.2008

Leuven/Geneva – Belgian and Swiss researchers have discovered a protein factor that could improve the response rate to anemia blockbuster erythropoietin (EPO). In mice, they found that the protein product of growth...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

19.02.2008

Amsterdam – The Dutch medicines reimbursement agency CVZ has overturned its gonadotropin clustering decision, allowing Ferring Pharmaceuticals’ human-derived gonadotropin Menopur to be clustered with higher-priced recombinant...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

19.02.2008

Amsterdam – Forbion capital has invested EUR30 million in the French biopharmaceutical company Fovea SA in Paris. Alongside Forbion, participants included the other investors, among them Sofinnova, Abingworth, GIMV, The Wellcome...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

19.02.2008

Brussels – Belgian biotech group Innogenetics welcomed a ruling by a US court, which decided that Abbott Laboratories may no longer sell products that infringe on an Innogenetics patent, but also upheld an earlier court’s...

BioFunding, BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

19.02.2008

Leiden – Dutch drug delivery specialist Octoplus NV has dropped its follow-on financing plans due to poor stock market conditions. The company said “it will continue to keep a close watch on the capital markets” and is evaluating...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

06.01.2008

Amsterdam – Researchers from Dutch Agendia BV have identified the tumor supressor PTEN (Phosphatase and Tensin homolog deleted on chromosome TEN) as a modulator of trastuzumab (Herceptin) resistance in breast cancer in a...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

22.11.2007

Ghent – Monsanto Co. has sold its Asian subsidiaries to Devgen. The acquisition comprises Monsanto’s hybrid rice, sunflower, sorghum and pearl millet businesses and certain other assets. Under the terms of the agreement, Devgen...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

22.11.2007

Amsterdam – The Netherlands Genomics Initiative (NGI) has announced its 2008-2012 budget plan, which has already been approved by the government. Spending will total up to a280 million and comprises the funding for several...

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