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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

29.03.2012

Brussels – Promethera Biosciences has completed a Series B financing round, generating proceeds of €23.6m. The Belgian cell therapy company secured a capital increase of €17m from its new investors, among them the venture arms...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

19.03.2012

Leuven – Biopharmaceutical company ThromboGenics has entered into an agreement with Alcon Inc., a division of Novartis for the commercialisation of its product ocriplasmin in all markets outside the U.S. ThromboGenics said it...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

07.03.2012

Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics has announced a financial manoeuvre aimed at getting the biotech out of a hopeless situation. The assets and – more importantly – the liabilities of the drug developer will be acquired by a newly...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

20.02.2012

Amsterdam - Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics has announced a financial manoeuvre which is aimed to get the biotech out of a dead end. The assets and – more importantly – the liabilities of the drug developer will be acquired by...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

10.02.2012

Glasgow/Leuven - With a little help from the EU, two biotech companies are banding together to develop the first stem cell therapy against rheumatoid arthritis. UK-based Sistemic will work with TiGenix to develop the Belgian's...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

25.01.2012

Amsterdam – Two elephants in the biofuels business join forces. Dutch food and chemicals group Royal DSM and POET, LLC, a US-based ethanol producer, announced a plan to build a commercial cellulosic ethanol plant. POET–DSM...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

13.01.2012

Heerlen - Royal DSM N.V will be the industrial partner to the Panoptes consortium, which aims to develop novel drug delivery technology for the posterior eye segment. The four year project is supported by EUR4m in funding from...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

04.01.2012

Leiden - Dutch Pharming Group NV has taken a further step to secure sound financing even beyond the recent milestone payments. The drug developer announced that it has entered into a financing of approximately €8.4 million by...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

16.12.2011

Ghent – Just days after US pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer pulled out of a rheumatoid arthritis pact with Ablynx NV, the Belgian biopharmaceutical company expanded its relationship with Merck Serono. Ablynx has now entered into a...

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