26.07.2012 - Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson report that Bapineuzumab failed the first of four phase III trials.
The monoclonal antibody Bapineuzumab could not outperform a placebo in moderating symptoms of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. Expectations on an intravenous formulation of the drug to help a group of patients sharing the so called ApoE4 (apolipoprotein E epsilon 4) genotype could not be fulfilled. Pfizer did not release details of the study’s outcome, but a principal investigator in the trial, Reisa Sperling, told The New York Times that "there was absolutely no evidence at all of a clinical benefit of treatment on either of the primary measures." The antibody developed by the Irish company Elan and US company Pfizer is tested in a large-scale Alzheimer's Immunotherapy Program for its suitability for treating the most common form of dementia. Meanwhile Johnson & Johnson joined the team for a total of four clinical trials. 1100 patients participated in the trail, all of them carriers of the ApoE4 risk gene. It is possible that patients without this gene modification could gain more profit from the agent. A second study with this group will start in the following weeks, two others are still ongoing.
Bapineuzumab is the follow up agent of AN1792, a vaccine which also failed. AN1792 successfully stimulated the formation of antibodies against beta amyloid – a protein that can exert toxic effects in the brain and is believed to play a central role in the pathology of Alzheimer's disease – in animal studies. But in 2002, a phase II trial had to be stopped because of safety issues. Aseptic meningoencephalitis and leukoencephalopathy were diagnosed in 6 percent of the participants. Nevertheless, some hints were given that the vaccine achieved an effect. The same effects were expected for Bapineuzumab, of course without the negative consequences.
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.
29.04.2016 Swiss bank Group UBS has raised US$471m (€412m) for the UBS Oncology Impact Fund, which was set up to invest in early-stage cancer treatments. The money raised by the fund, nearly half of which comes from investors in Asia, is the largest amount ever raised for such a cancer investment fund.
27.04.2016 More revenue, more jobs, more financing, more R&D expenditure – all signs point towards sustainable growth in the German biotech sector. These are the results of the most recent company survey 2016, published by biotechnologie.de. The report was once again conducted alongside the biotech standards defined by the organisation for economic cooperation and development (OECD).
21.04.2016 An expert panel’s final report on the fatal drug trial earlier this year in France states that the death of one of the participants was most likely caused by the drug’s toxicity and not by any violation of the rules.
21.04.2016 For up to US$685m (€606m), Dutch ArgenX has outlicensed its human antibody programme ARGX-115 to AbbVie. The pre-clinical immuno-oncology candidate targets a protein believed to contribute to immunosuppressive effects of T-cells.
19.04.2016 British drug developer Heptares Therapeutics and mAb maker Kymab Ltd have partnered up in yet another immuno-oncology collaboration. The companies plan to discover antibody meds targeting a superfamily of receptors.
15.04.2016 Not every company is put off by the current stock market climate. Swiss biopharma company GeNeuro has gone public at Euronext Paris, raising €33m in the process. Others, meanwhile, have to find different ways to raise money.
13.04.2016 Despite political disturbances, 2015 was a good year for the biotech scene in Switzerland. Net sales increased by 5.1% to CHF5,133m and 400 additional people found jobs in the sector. As usual, the new numbers were presented at the annual Swiss Biotech Day – which set new records as well.