11.12.2012 - British pharma GlaxoSmithKline fosters its transatlantic ties. Texas-based MD Anderson will receive €259m for a cancer immune therapy programme.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) secured a promising cancer immune therapy programme by collaborating with University of Texas MD Anderson from Houston (US). The deal, which allots GSK worldwide exclusive rights, was been made public on 7 December. In total, the pharma company could pay more than €259m in upfront and milestone payments, excluding the royalties of possible therapeutic antibody sales.
The programme in question has been established by former MD Anderson professor Yong-Jun Liu who is now working at the Baylor Research Institute in Dallas. Liu found that an activation of the T cell receptor OX40 (CD134) on the surface of dendritic cells improves the chances of an immune attack mediated by these cells: "T cell recognition of a tumour antigen is not enough to activate the T cells against cancer cells, they need a secondary signal to tell them “that antigen you have is a bad thing, you have to attack,'“ Liu said. Hence, he and his team screened for antibodies that could mimic the natural activator OX40L, which enables amplification of Th2 cell differentiation upon binding to its receptor. Right now the candidates have been boiled down to half a dozen. The collaboration with GSK in this late preclinical stage comes as no surprise for Liu: "It is gratifying to see this important step towards translating a basic science discovery into a potential new therapy that can proceed to clinical trial.“
The agreement between academia and economy is the first pact for MD Anderson’s new Institute for Applied Cancer Science (IACS). This institute is one of several projects of the recently launched ‚Moon Shot Program’ that tries to advance discoveries from basic sciences into the clinic. Dubbed as the „nation’s No. 1 hospital for cancer care“, MD Anderson thinks that „the end of cancer is closer than you think.“ Other cancer types included in the Moon Shots Program are breast and ovarian cancers, leukaemia (AML/MDS as well as CLL), lung cancer, melanoma and prostate cancer.
It is not the first time that a company aims to target OX40. The human MAB oxelumab targets not the receptor but its ligand OX40L. After Phase II trails in allergic asthma patients failed, Roche's US subsidiary Genentech terminated the development of oxelumab (huMAb OX40L) with Danish Genmab in Q2/2011.
26.08.2016 Adocia said it would discontinue its diabetic foot ulcer programme after its lead product BioChaperone PDGF disappointed in Phase III. The French company will turn the focus on its earlier-stage products.
24.08.2016 Pharma major Pfizer is putting the cherry on top of its multi-billion-dollar takeover of Medivation with the acquisition of AstraZeneca’s antibiotics for a cool US$1.5bn. With the divestment, AZ aims to further sharpen its focus.
23.08.2016 Cambridge University-allied investor Cambridge Innovation Capital has raised £75m (€87m) to reinvest in technology and healthcare companies. Among the backers were Woodford Investment and Winton Ventures.
19.08.2016 Together with partner Johnson & Johnson, Danish biotech Genmab is now one step closer to FDA approval with its combination treatment for multiple myeloma after its submission of a supplemental Biologics License Application. In July, Genmab was granted a Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD) for its blood cancer therapy.
17.08.2016 Philip Hammond, the UK’S chancellor has announced the government will guarantee funding for EU-backed "structural and investment fund" projects whose timelines extend beyond the UK’s departure from the EU, provided the projects are signed prior to this year's Autumn Statement on the UK budget. The decision ensures continued funding for farmers, companies and institutions involved in the EU’s Horizon 2020 project. The move could cost the UK government up to £6bn (€6.9bn).
15.08.2016 Back in April, the American FDA gave the green light for the colorectal cancer-screening test Epi procolon. Now Berlin-based diagnostics specialist Epigenomics is considering a secondary listing in the US. A draft of the required registration document was confidentially submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
09.08.2016 Hungarian Gedeon Richter and Irish Allergan are staying on course in the face of dissappointing Phase III results for depression drug cariprazine. The partners will now begin another Phase III study needed for approval.
08.08.2016 Araclon Biotech’s Alzheimer’s vaccine ABvac40 is going forward into Phase II after showing a good safety profile in Phase I. The promising trial results were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.
FILTRODISC™ BIO SD is a filtration system which removes particles (e.g. cells, bacteria, yeast), impurities (e.g. HCP, DNA) and other turbid matter from process liquids (e.g. fermentation broths). more