05.06.2012 - Swedish Active Biotech draws new hope from a Phase II result with prostate cancer drug tasquinimod.
Lund – Almost a year ago Swedish Active Biotech AB saw its stock value dwindling away when the oral multiple sclerosis drug laquinimod failed in crucial Phase III testing. Although the price per share has doubled when compared to the start of the year, SEK44 is still far away from its last 12-month-cycle climax roughly a year ago.
On 4 June, Andrew Armstrong from the Duke Cancer Institute in Durham (USA) presented data on a long-term follow-up of a randomised Phase II placebo-controlled trial with Active Biotech's tasquinimod. The talk, given at the 2012 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago (USA), focussed on the median overall survival times of patients suffering from castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) which increased from 30.4 months (placebo) to 33.4 months (tasquinimod). Armstrong expressed that these findings surprised him: "Men with metastatic CRPC in this trial were unexpectedly found to have prolonged survival times, despite a high fraction of patients with liver and lung metastases."
Active Biotech is developing the drug together with Ipsen group, a pharmaceutical company from Paris (France) employing 4,500 people. Ipsen's CSO Claude Betrand was eager to announce he's pleased with the results: "We are thrilled. The results underline the activity of the compound. With its differentiated mechanism of action [not targeting the androgen receptor pathway] we hope to propose an alternative treatment after the ongoing Phase III results have replicated these interesting findings." So far 600 patients have been recruited for the double-blind Phase III study. In the end the study will include 1,200 patients from more than 250 clinics.
26.05.2016 BigDNA relaunches as Iceni Pharmaceuticals with the aim to develop repurposed and reformulated cancer therapies. First order of business: repurpose Merck Serono’s cilengitide as a multiple myeloma treatment.
24.05.2016 One of the pioneering companies developing pharmaceuticals and diagnostics based on the gut microbiome, Enterome Bioscience, has raised €14.5m in a Series C financing round. Among the investors were Seventure and Lundbeckfond as well as Nestlé.
20.05.2016 The long awaited global review on antimicrobial resistance by economist Lord Jim O’Neill has been published. It sets out an action plan to defeat superbugs with a huge awareness campaign and rapid diagnostics to be used before antibiotics are prescribed.
18.05.2016 Bayer is deepening its involvement in CRISPR with a licensing agreement for genome editing patents. Irish partner ERS Genomics holds the rights to the CRISPR/Cas9 tech from Emmanuelle Charpentier, one of the inventors.
11.05.2016 Newly spun out company OxStem has raised £16.9m (€21.5m) to develop regenerative meds for the treatment of age-related disease. It is the largest financing for an Oxford spin-out – or any UK academic spin-out – to date.
09.05.2016 Swiss Genentech partner AC Immune has raised CHF42.7m (€38.6m) in order to advance its therapeutic and diagnostic product pipeline in Alzheimer’s disease. The news follows a recently announced R&D collaboration with Biogen.
04.05.2016 Barcelona-based epigenetics expert Oryzon Genomics has closed a debt funding round of €10.5m, bringing the total money raised since last year to €27m. The funds will serve to advance the company’s two LSD1 inhibitors in cancer and neurodegeneration.
03.05.2016 Ipsen is strengthening its ties to long-time development partner Oncodesign, a Dijon-based cancer treatment biotech. The French pharma is handing over the pre-clinical pharmacology for its oncology research programmes to Oncodesign.