Biotech Company News

Bristol-Myers Squibb to Acquire Celgene

Bristol-Myers bulks up cancer portfolio with $74 billion Celgene deal (Reuters) - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (BMY.N) said on Thursday it would buy Celgene Corp (CELG.O) for about $74 billion, creating a major pharma company with several blockbuster cancer drugs as competition in the immunotherapy space heats up. Bristol-Myers pioneered immunotherapy with its Yervoy and later Opdivo, but has come under pressure as Merck & Co’s (MRK.N) rival treatment Keytruda moved
cancer Cancer Discovery Cancer screening Immunotherapies

Immunotherapy combination and chemotherapy show encouraging results in Phase II acute myeloid leukemia study

 A triple therapy combining two immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICPIs) with the standard-of-care chemotherapy, a hypomethylating agent called azacitidine, has shown promising results for treatment of relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML), according to findings from a Phase II study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Findings from the study, led by Naval Daver, M.D., associate professor of Leukemia, are being presented at the 60th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exposition in San Diego. The
Cancer Discovery

Eureka Therapeutics Achieves Regression of Metastatic Liver Cancer Using T-Cell Therapy

Eureka Therapeutics, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company with the goal of curing cancer by developing novel T-cell therapies that harness the evolutionary power of the immune system, announced preliminary safety and clinical results from its ongoing proof-of-concept study of ET140202 T-cell therapy in AFP-positive patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most prevalent form of liver cancer. The data was presented on September 5th in the late-breaking abstracts session of the
cancer Cancer Discovery

Combination Immunotherapy Shrinks Melanoma Brain Metastases

Combination immunotherapy shrank melanoma that has spread to the brain in more than half of the patients in a clinical trial reported in the New England Journal of Medicine led by an investigator at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Of 94 patients in the single-arm study combining checkpoint inhibitors ipilimumab and nivolumab, at a minimum follow-up of nine months and a median of 14 months, 24 (26 percent)
Breast Cancer

Cancer Center of Kansas to Study Novel Cancer Immunotherapy in Advanced Breast Cancer

The Cancer Center of Kansas (CCK) has been added as a new clinical trial site and will be part of an ongoing, multicenter, Phase IIa study of Bria-IMT™ (listed in ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT03066947) in advanced breast cancer, as well as the rollover combination study of  BriaCell Therapeutic's Bria-IMT™ with pembrolizumab or ipilimumab (listed in ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT03328026). Dr. Shaker R. Dakhil, Board certified in Medical Oncology and Internal Medicine, will
cancer Immunotherapies

First In-Human Clinical Trial Targeting CD4 Protein for Aggressive T-cell Leukemia and Lymphoma to be Launched

Stony Brook University, iCell Gene Therapeutics, and the University of Louisville, have received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for an Investigational New Drug (IND) for the treatment of relapsed and refractory T-cell leukemia and lymphoma. The approach is the first to use chimeric antigen receptor engineered T-cells directed against the target protein CD4 (CD4CAR). Together, Stony Brook University, the University of Louisville, and iCell Gene Therapeutics expect the first
Cancer Discovery

Researchers pinpoint new subtype of prostate cancer

Researchers led by the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center have identified a new subtype of prostate cancer that occurs in about 7 percent of patients with advanced disease. The subtype is characterized by loss of the gene CDK12. It was found to be more common in metastatic prostate cancer compared to early stage tumors that had not spread. Tumors in which CDK12 was inactivated were responsive to immune checkpoint
Immunotherapies

Peer Reviewed Paper: Novel Immunotherapy Actives CD4 Helper T Cells using HLA-Class II Molecules

The findings detailed in an upcoming peer-reviewed paper provide a rationale for the encouraging clinical results observed with Bria-IMT™, an immunotherapy from BriaCell Therapeutics, in current and past clinical testing.  The paper will appear in Frontiers in Immunology, the 5th most cited journal in Immunology worldwide.  Bria-IMT™, also known as SV-BR-1-GM, has caused remarkable reduction of tumor size in some patients with advanced metastatic breast cancer. Understanding Bria‑IMT™’s mechanism of
Biotechnology cancer Immunotherapies rare diseases

Smart Bomb Virus Shows Promise as Brain Tumor Immunotherapy

A common cold virus engineered to attack the most common and deadly of brain tumors allowed 20 percent of patients with recurrent glioblastoma to live for three years or longer, researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center report on a phase I clinical trial in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The altered adenovirus, called Delta-24-RGD or DNX-2401, was injected one time directly into the tumors of 25
Biotechnology Clinical Trials Gene Therapy Immunotherapies

T Cell Therapy Shows Persistent Benefits in Young Leukemia Patients

CHOP Oncologists Update Analysis in Pivotal Global Trial of CAR T-Cell Treatment for Relapsed or Refractory ALL Updated results from a global clinical trial of the CAR T-cell therapy, tisagenlecleucel, a landmark personalized treatment for a high-risk form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), reveal that children and young adults continued to show high rates of durable, complete remission of their disease. Most side effects were short-lived and reversible, according to
cancer Cancer Discovery

Early Evidence of Efficacy and Safety Seen in Novel Targeted Immunotherapy

An immune-oncology focused biotechnology company, BriaCell, has provided a clinical update on its lead immunotherapy drug for advanced breast cancer. BriaCell provided further update on its ongoing clinical trial of Bria-IMT™ according to Protocol WRI-GEV-007 (listed in ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT03066947).  Six patients have received inoculations since the trial began in early 2017, with the observation that the regimen was well tolerated, had few side effects, and appears safe.   Imaging studies
Cell Therapy Clinical Trials Gene Therapy Immunotherapies

Bioengineered Soft Microfibers Improve T-Cell Production

Columbia engineers bioengineer soft microfibers to improve T-cell production. T cells play a key role in the body’s immune response against pathogens. As a new class of therapeutic approaches, T cells are being harnessed to fight cancer, promising more precise, longer-lasting mitigation than traditional, chemical-based approaches. These “living drugs” are poised to transform medicine, with a growing number of cellular therapies receiving FDA-approval. A current bottleneck in these approaches and
Biotechnology

Rare Melanoma Type Highly Responsive to Immunotherapy

Desmoplastic melanoma is a rare subtype of melanoma that is commonly found on sun-exposed areas, such as the head and neck, and usually seen in older patients. Treatment is difficult because these tumors are often resistant to chemotherapy and lack actionable mutations commonly found in other types of melanoma that are targeted by specific drugs. However, Moffitt Cancer Center researchers report in the Jan. 10 issue of Nature that patients with desmoplastic melanoma are more responsive
Cancer Discovery

BriaCell Provides Clinical Update on its Lead Immunotherapy Drug in Advanced Breast Cancer

BriaCell, an immuno-oncology focused biotechnology company with a proprietary targeted immunotherapy technology, has provided a clinical update regarding its ongoing clinical trials of Bria-IMT™ (formerly referred to as SV-BR-1-GM). BriaCell currently is enrolling patients in two separate but related clinical trials. Trial WRI-GEV-007 (listed in ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT03066947) is a Phase I/IIa clinical study designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Bria-IMT™ in metastatic or locally recurrent breast cancer
Biotechnology Immunotherapies

Phase III Immunotherapy Trial for Migraine Shows Positive Results

An antibody therapy against a key inflammatory molecule involved in migraines reduces the number of headaches that chronic migraine patients experience per month in a phase III trial. A new study of fremanezumab, an immunotherapy that counteracts one of the molecules released during migraine, was found successful in reducing the number of days that chronic migraine sufferers experienced headaches. The results of the phase III clinical trial were published November
Biotechnology Gene Therapy Infectious Diseases Vaccines

Discovery of key molecules involved in severe malaria

Malaria*1 is one of three major infectious diseases*2 affecting approximately 300 million people every year, accounting for about 500,000 deaths, but effective vaccine development has not been successful. Among malaria parasites infecting humans, Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum)*3 causes especially severe disease. In addition, acquired immunity to malaria is inefficient, even after repeated exposures to P. falciparum, but the immune regulatory mechanisms used by P. falciparum remain largely unclear. Therefore, malaria
Biotechnology cancer Immunotherapies

Cancer Immunotherapy May Get a Boost by Disabling Specific T Cells

Cancer immunotherapy drugs only work for a minority of patients, but a generic drug now used to increase blood flow may be able to improve those odds, a study by Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers suggests. In mice with melanoma, the researchers found that the drug – called pentoxifylline – boosts the effectiveness of immune-checkpoint inhibitors, a type of immunotherapy now commonly used in the treatment of melanoma and
Biotechnology Clinical Trials Gene Therapy Immunotherapies

Exploring Immunotherapy for Carcinoid and Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors

A clinical trial testing the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab shows the drug to be well tolerated among patients who have carcinoid or pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.  Janice M. Mehnert, MD, director of the Phase 1 and Developmental Therapeutics Program at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, is the lead author of research that is part of an oral presentation at the European Society for Medical Oncology 2017 Congress taking place this week in
Biotechnology Clinical Trials Gene Therapy Uncategorized

CAR T-Cell Therapy for Leukemia Leads to Remissions in Clinical Trial

In an early-phase clinical trial of an experimental immunotherapy, researchers achieved durable molecular remissions in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia who had failed other treatments Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center showed about 70 percent of patients with the most common adult leukemia had their tumors shrink or disappear following an experimental chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell immunotherapy. The researchers also found that measuring genetic traces of cancer cells
Biotechnology cancer Clinical Trials Genomes Immunotherapies

Personal neoantigen vaccine prompts strong anti-tumor response in patients, study shows

A personal cancer treatment vaccine that targets distinctive "neoantigens" on tumor cells has been shown to stimulate a potent, safe, and highly specific immune anti-tumor response in melanoma patients, report scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The study, published online by Nature "provides proof-of-principle that a personal vaccine tailored to a patient's tumor can be produced and generates highly specific responses to that