SwedenSweden

MS treatment staggers – but is it out?

20.08.2011

Petach Tikva/Lund – Active Biotech AB suffered a severe setback in the development of its oral multiple sclerosis drug laquinimod. Together with ally Teva (Israel), the Swedish drugmaker announced that the substance failed in Phase III testing. A joint statement from the two companies stated that “results showed that the BRAVO study did not achieve its primary endpoint of reducing the annualised relapse rate.” However, there was data demonstrating significant reduction in brain-volume loss and the risk of disability progression. Teva said that study participants showed a 21.5% annual reduction in relapses, a 27.5% reduction in brain volume loss and a 33.5% reduction in the risk of disability progression – as measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale – compared to those who received a placebo. Despite the setback, the drugmaker remains committed to laquinimod, Teva officials told analysts during a conference call. And data adjustment might do the trick. MRI scans showed patients in the laquinimod group had more brain lesions, which indicates they had more severe multiple sclerosis. If study results are adjusted to remove that imbalance, laquinimod might meet its primary goal of lowering the relapse rate. Analysts remained unconvinced: “We are not aware of a precedent case where an MS drug was approved without two statistically significant trials,” said Christopher Holterhoff from Oppenheimer & Co Inc. Analysts from Nordea Markets slashed the price target for Active Biotech to SEK40 from SEK70, while at the same time upgrading its recommendation from “Sell” to “Hold”. The company’s shares have dropped by about 60% since the beginning of August.

SwedenSweden

12.03.2012

Gothenburg – Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy have discovered a previously unknown mechanism which helps intestinal bacteria to affect the formation of blood vessels. In a study of mice, the team led by Fredrik Bäckhed...

SwedenSweden

08.03.2012

Swiss Nestlé S.A. has extended its collaboration agreement with BioGaia AB. The world’s largest nutrition company is paying up to €50.8m for a perpetual licence to use BioGaia’s patented Lacto­bacillus reuteri in infant nutrition...

SwedenSweden

08.03.2012

Stockholm – Swedish drug delivery specialist Orexo AB has announced the intention to cut its headcount by 30% in order to reduce the company's burn rate. The personnel reduction by 35 people is expected to lower the costs by a...

SwedenSweden

07.03.2012

After a long period of negotiations, Sweden’s Orexo AB and Belgium’s Janssen Pharmaceutica have terminated their joint research programmes. “Unfortunately, we lack the funds to continue on our own to develop the OX-CLI and OX-ESI...

SwedenSweden

06.03.2012

Uppsala/Moscow – Vaccine adjuvant specialist Isconova AB is set to begin receiving royalties and product revenues from Russian partner VetBioChem. The veterinary medicine company has launched two new rabies vaccines for dogs and...

SwedenSweden

23.02.2012

Stockholm - Probiotics can help prevent diseases, Swedish researchers have found out. The results are in sharp contrast with all health claim judgements involving probiotics published by the EU's food watchdog EFSA up to now. The...

SwedenSweden

16.02.2012

Huddinge – Full stop for one of Sweden's most promising biotech companies. Karo Bio has terminated the trial of its late-stage cholesterol drug eprotirome and won't proceed with its plans to spin off its preclinical operations....

SwedenSweden

19.12.2011

Helsingborg/Exton – Swedish drug developer DuoCort Pharma AB has been purchased by US-based biopharmaceuticals maker ViroPharma Inc. ViroPharma paid around €25m up front, but DuoCort’s former owners could end up receiving €97m...

SwedenSweden

15.12.2011

Stockholm/Cologne – Researchers at the Swedish Karolinska Institute and the University of Cologne have identified a new protein-based defense mechanism against cancer (Struct. & Molec. Biology, doi: 10.1038/10.1038/nsmb.2188)....

SwedenSweden

15.12.2011

Craigavon/Uppsala – Irish Almac Discovery, a member of the Almac Group, will begin cooperating with Uppsala-based Beactica AB to develop new cancer drug candidates. In late November, the companies announced that Beactica’s Sprint...

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