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More News! A Good Week for Cancer Developments & More

25/05/2018 - 3 minutes

Try as we might, we can’t cover all the biotech news out there! This week has brought some good news for European biotechs innovating in cancer, such us Cellectis, Medigene or eTheRNA. 

  • Genmab’s antibody Arzerra (ofatumumab) has failed to meet the endpoint of improving progression-free survival in B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma when compared to chemo in a Phase 3 trial.
  • F-star has dosed the first patient in a Phase 1 clinical trial for a bispecific antibody directed at patients whose cancer has relapsed after treatment with PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors. The antibody targets both PD-L1 and LAG-3, two immune checkpoint molecules involved in tumor growth and immune evasion.
  • CoreMedic has performed the first implant of a device designed to repair the mitral valve in patients with degenerative heart disease. The patient recovered well and did not show any complications 30 days after the intervention.
  • uniQure has revealed data from a 10-patient cohort showing that the efficacy of its gene therapy for hemophilia B is not affected by pre-existing antibodies in the blood of the patients against AAV5, the virus that uniQure uses as the basis for its gene therapy.
  • Verona Pharma has presented Phase IIa data showing that its drug candidate RPL554 can significantly improve peak lung function in patients with moderate or severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The drug could also have potential in the treatment of cystic fibrosis.
  • Cellectis has received permission from the FDA to increase the dose of its off-the-shelf CAR-T therapy in a Phase 1 trial in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
  • Apogenix has shown that asunercept, a human fusion protein treatment, can improve the 5-year survival rate of patients with glioblastoma from 0% to 7%. The German company is preparing to submit a marketing authorization to the EMA.
  • eTheRNA has enroled the first patient in a Phase 1b study with TriMix, an mRNA-based therapy for metastatic melanoma.

  • Medigene has raised €32M in a private placement directed at funding the company’s T cell receptor technology for cancer.
  • Lava Therapeutics has raised €16M in a round led by Gilde Healthcare and Versant Ventures. The funding will support the young company’s pipeline of gamma-delta T cells for the treatment of cancer.
  • OncoDNA, a Belgian company developing oncology biomarker tests, will be helping Kura Oncology — a US biotech working on precision medicine — in the recruitment of patients with head and neck squamous cancer with mutations in the HRAS gene.
  • Algaia has received a €4M investment to support the expansion of its French facilities for the production of seaweed extracts for agricultural, nutritional and cosmetic applications.
  • Madrid-based mAbxience has partnered with Amneal to bring a biosimilar of Avastin (bevacizumab), one of the best-selling drugs in the world.

  • Deinove has launched the last phase of its COLOR2B program, focusing on developing a sustainable process for the production of natural feed additives using bacteria instead of petrochemical processes. Deinove and its partner, the AVRIL group, have chosen the final bacterial strain that will be used and will now test it in the production of feed for different animal species. Read more on Feed navigator.
  • Nexstim, in Finland, has reported the first US order of its non-invasive brain stimulation technology to treat major depressive disorder.
  • Good news for green biotechs: the Finnish government has launched a joint business venture named Plänet B aimed at creating business opportunities around the bioeconomy model in the town of Äänekoski.

Images via Shutterstock

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