04.06.2013 - Active Biotech's immunotoxin naptumomab estafenatox has doubled overall survival in renal cell cancer patients.
A combination therapy of Active Biotech's fusion protein naptumomab estafenatox (ABR-217620), plus interferon-alpha, extended overall survival in a patient subgroup of the ANYARA Phase II/III study to 63.3 compared to 31.1 months in the interferon-alpha arm. The drug is a new class of fusion protein, which links a FAB fragment of an antibody that specifically binds to the 5T4 antigen on tumour cells with the superantigen staphylococcal enterotoxin, that induces a tumour-specific T-cell immune response.
Statistically significant benefit, however, was only achieved when patients with high levels of pre-formed antibodies against superantigens or the cytokine IL-6 were excluded. In this subgroup of 131 patients, progression-free survival improved from 5.8 months in the interferon-alpha arm to 8.5 months in the naptumomab estafenatox - interferon-alpha arm. Active Biotech is now seeking a partner for Phase III development of the targeted cancer therapy"
Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC) affects approximately 180,000 people worldwide each year. Approximately 50 % of the patients are affected by metastases. If the disease has metastasized, average survival is around 2 years. The survival rate of patients diagnosed with renal cancer is only 5-15% after five years. The market for treatment of RCC is estimated at approximately US$2.7bn per year (EvaluatePharma March 2012). Approved first-line treatments are Sutent, Avastin in combination with IFN, Torisel and Votrient. Authorised second-line treatment are Nexavar and Everolimus.
12.05.2015 US pharma is coming to European biotech to fill their pipeline. Pfizer is paying €77.5m for an option on Dutch AM-Pharma, while Juno Therapeutics acquired German biotech Stage Cell Therapeutics for around €72m.
26.05.2015 The Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea has joined the Dutch MEB in its stance on the interchangeability of biosimilars. The Fimea now sees physician-driven switching of biologics as unproblematic.
02.06.2015 After disappointing Phase III results for immunotherapy tasquinimod and the subsequent discontinuation of the prostrate cancer drug, Swedish Active Biotech is now severely downsizing its operations.
20.05.2015 The Scottish Government has announced it will double the amount of funds for rare diseases. The New Medicines Fund that was created last year for this purpose will be increased to £80m (€112m).
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