Tocagen's drug combination Toca 511 and Toca FC has received breakthrough status from the FDA as a treatment for patients with recurrent high-grade glioma. Results from an ongoing midstage clinical study are expected next year.
Incyte and the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center have agreed to work together to study cancer immunotherapy and biology. In a multiyear collaboration, the cancer center will study the mechanisms of action of Incyte's therapeutics to develop clinical rationales for patient selection and combination therapy, and the partners will develop a bioinformatics program to advance novel immunotherapies.
Exercise is a powerful way to prevent death after breast cancer, on par with chemotherapy and hormone therapy, according to a review of 67 published studies. Avoiding weight gain also improves survival odds, but the evidence was less clear for other modifiable factors, such as diet and alcohol consumption.
Santen and twoXAR, a computational drug discovery firm, have entered into an agreement focused on the discovery of treatments for patients with glaucoma. Under the terms of the deal, twoXAR's AI-based algorithms will be used to discover, screen and prioritize drug candidates, while Santen gets exclusive rights to develop and market drugs discovered through the deal.
GenWay Biotech, a provider of protein tools, has been bought by Aviva Systems Biology for undisclosed terms as part of Aviva's plan to establish itself as a leading provider of protein solutions. San Diego-based Aviva will use GenWay's antibody, ELISA and protein production assets in clinical and research markets.
Alliance BioEnergy Plus is aiming to buy and retrofit INEOS New Planet Bioenergy's former ethanol plant in Vero Beach, Fla. Alliance plans to incorporate its patented CTS process at the 145-acre plant to convert local yard waste into cellulosic ethanol, with the goal of producing 8 million gallons annually.
Nigeria's National Agriculture Seed Council said increased funding for agricultural biotechnology is needed to fully domesticate the National Biosafety Law and develop biotech crops. The council said funds would be used for reagent production and for laboratory technologist and biochemist efforts to scale up biotech seed and increase the country's food yield.
Novartis' supplemental new drug application for Zykadia, or ceritinib, has been granted priority review by the FDA as a first-line treatment for patients with metastatic ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer. The FDA also granted a breakthrough therapy designation to Zykadia for patients with brain metastases.
Cyclacel's Sapacitabine, designed to treat patients with acute myeloid leukemia, failed to meet the primary endpoint of a Phase III trial. Although Sapacitabine was unsuccessful in increasing overall survival compared with decitabine monotherapy, it met the secondary endpoint of the study, which was improving the complete remission rate.
A final guidance has been released by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommending Novartis' Afinitor, or everolimus, for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma whose disease progressed on or after receiving VEGF-targeted therapy. The endorsement is contingent on Novartis providing a discount for the drug.
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