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Blood test for prostate cancer

05.04.2013 - Austrian and German researchers have presented a blood test to track prostate cancer development.

The new method offers huge benefits to patients who have to be monitored for prostate cancer recurrence by providing a less invasive approach than the currently used biopsies. Instead, study chiefs Jochen Geigl and Michael Speicher from Medical University of Graz and the University Medical Center Hamburg Eppendorf, took blood samples, isolated the patient’s DNA and analysed it using an Illumina benchtop sequencer. 

Genomic signatures displayed abnormal copy numbers of specific genetic markers, which indicated resistance against hormone deprivation therapy, the most common form of treatment in men with metastatic prostate cancer. Although being a small scale study including only 25 patients the presence of prostate cancer was flagged by copy number mistakes in sequences such as NCOA2, PHLPP1 and TMPRSS2-ERG. As expected each person's cancer signature was slightly different, however patients whose cancer did not respond to castration all had increased copy numbers of genes for the androgen receptor (AR). 

According to the researchers, "the simplicity and low cost of  such liquid biopsies make these genetic tests an attractive alternative to traditional biopsies. Better genetic information resulting from these tests may also help target treatment, especially of castration-resistant prostate cancer and aid personalised therapy in the clinic."  Two years ago, Swiss researchers had presented a blood test detecting protein biomarkers to track prostate cancer. However, Next-Generation Sequencing is much faster and cheaper.

http://www.european-biotechnology-news.com/news/news/2013-01/blood-test-for-prostate-cancer.html

M&AUKSweden

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.

FinancingUK

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.

R&DDenmark

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.

ResearchUKEU

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).

Stock marketsGermany

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).

LicensingDenmark

11.08.2016 Danish Genmab AS has granted Gilead Sciences license to use its DuoBody technology platform to develop bispecific antibodies for the treatment of HIV. The deal is worth up to €252m.

Clinical developmentHungaryIreland

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.

ImmunotherapySpain

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.

ApprovalEU

04.08.2016 After a two-year pilot period, the EMA has published its report on its adaptive pathways approach. The agency plans to “explore the concept further” and will continue to accept proposals.

BusinessPolandUK

01.08.2016 Life science venture capital group Epidarex has launched Nodthera Ltd, a biotech based on research by Poland-based drug discovery company Selvita. The start-up aims to develop novel inhibitors of the NLRP3 inflammasome.

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No liability assumed, Date: 25.08.2016