Actelion reaches proof-of-concept in allergic rhinitis


Allschwil – Swiss biotech firm Actelion Pharma has reached the primary endpoint of preventing allergic rhinitis symptoms in patients challenged with Mountain Cedar pollen in a proof-of-concept study with its oral CRTH2 antagonist. According to the company, no severe side effects occurred. Actelion's CRTH2 blocker, which was tested against placebo on 579 patients, inhibits the action of prostaglandin D2 and thus blocks prolongation of allergic symptoms. Because it calms down pro-inflammatory effects, it has also potential to be applied in other blockbuster indications such as allergic asthma. Results of an ongoing Phase II study in this indication are expected by mid-2012, according to Actelion. CRTH2 (Chemoattractant Receptor-homologous molecule expressed on Th2 cells) is a G protein coupled receptor expressed by Th2 lymphocytes, eosinophils, and basophils. The receptor mediates the activation and chemotaxis of these cell types in response to prostaglandin D2 (PGD2), the major prostanoid produced by mast cells. PGD2 is released through mast cell degranulation in the initial phase of IgE-mediated reactions. This process is also thought to occur at the site of inflammation, such as the nasal and bronchial mucosa.



Basel/Berkeley – Europe enters into the age of personalised medicine. The European Commission has approved the melanoma drug Zelboraf. While the compound was developed by US-based Plexxikon Inc., owned by Daiichi Sankyo Group,...



Basel – The rumours started just before Christmas. Roche wants Illumina. Just how dearly, has just become clear. The Swiss drugmaker made a $5.7b hostile bid for Illumina, the current market leader in Next-Generation sequencing....



Basel – Good and bad news for Swiss drugmaker Novartis. First a look on the bright side: Signifor, for the treatment of Cushing's disease, is on its final stretch to approval. The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use...



Basel - It is a further push for Roche's ambitions in medicine concerning the treatment of skin cancer: The European Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended that the drug Zelboraf and its companion...



Allschwil – Europe’s largest stand-alone biotech company Actelion Ltd. is receiving an injection of fresh capital. Under the guidance of the two biggest Swiss banks – UBS and Credit Suisse – the Swiss company will be issued a...



Stans – Due to the current financial market conditions and the lack of significant progress with currently available options, Swiss drug developer Mondobiotech says it will be implementing restructuring measures. Together with...



Geneva – There's is life in Swiss biotechnology beyond big pharma. Genentech has launched a First-in-Human study with anti-IL-17, an antibody made by the Swiss biotechnology company NovImmune. The fully human monoclonal antibody,...



Basel – The FDA has withdrawn the accelerated approval for Roche's Avastin (bevacizumab) to treat metastasising breast cancer. The US regulatory authority had originally granted accelerated approval for Avastin's use in treating...



Basel/Hervel – It may be the end of Novartis' lucky streak in osteoporosis. While the once a year osteoporosis injection Aclasta (a bisphosphonate) sells well, the Swiss pharma company had to break disastrous news from a...

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