PALM BEACH, Florida, June 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
The NasdaqBiotechnology Index (NBI) surged last week as Research and Development for the advancement of rare cancer therapies and anti-cancer drug candidates heat up with new partnerships with Mayo Clinic as part of a process for creating and delivering treatments
Moleculin Biotech, Inc., (NASDAQ: MBRX), a preclinical pharmaceutical company focused on the development of anti-cancer drug candidates, some of which are based on license agreements with The University of Texas System on behalf of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, today announced it has entered into an agreement with a physician at the Mayo Clinic to enable additional research on Moleculin's WP1066 molecule for the possible treatment of a rare form of pediatric brain tumor. Read this and more news for Moleculin Biotech at http://www.marketnewsupdates.com/news/mbrx.html.
Mayo Clinic physician-scientists have requested and Moleculin has agreed to supply them with WP1066 for preclinical testing for the potential treatment of pediatric Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas (DIPG), a rare and very aggressive form of brain tumor. Mayo Clinic studies have suggested that DIPG may be particularly sensitive to the inhibition of the activated form of a cell-signaling protein called STAT3, a primary target of WP1066, and their preliminary studies have demonstrated significant anti-tumor activity of WP1066 in DIPG in vitro and in vivo tumor models.
"Independent research now suggests that WP1066 is capable of tumor suppression in xenografts of human brain tumors transplanted into mice," commented Walter Klemp, Chairman and CEO of Moleculin. "So, we are eager to move WP1066 into the clinic as quickly as possible." Mr. Klemp added: "We are proud to have an institution as renown as Mayo Clinic focus on WP1066 as a potential treatment for DIPG. This, along with the physician efforts at MD Anderson to secure an IND to study WP1066 for the treatment of adult brain tumors, continues to validate the potential importance of WP1066 in the treatment of difficult tumors."
In other biotech/pharma news and developments of note:
AVEO Oncology (NASDAQ: AVEO) last week announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP), the scientific committee of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), has recommended FOTIVDA™ (tivozanib) for approval as a treatment for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The CHMP's recommendation is now referred to the European Commission (EC). The EC, which typically adheres to the recommendation of the CHMP, but is not obligated to do so, is expected to make its final decision in about 67 days. If approved by the EC, marketing authorization for tivozanib will be granted in all 28 countries of the European Union, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. EUSA Pharma, a specialty pharmaceutical company with a focus on oncology and oncology supportive care, is the European licensee for tivozanib.
Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: PTLA) last week announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Bevyxxa (betrixaban), the first and only anticoagulant for hospital and extended duration prophylaxis (35 to 42 days) of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in adult patients hospitalized for an acute medical illness who are at risk for thromboembolic complications due to moderate or severe restricted mobility and other risk factors for VTE. Bevyxxa, an oral, once-daily Factor Xa inhibitor, was granted a Fast Track designation and approved by the FDA under Priority Review, which is a status given to drugs that may offer significant improvements in treatment or provide a treatment where no adequate therapy exists. Bevyxxa has been approved based on data from Portola's pivotal Phase 3 APEX Study, which enrolled 7,513 patients at more than 450 clinical sites worldwide.
Juno Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: JUNO), a biopharmaceutical company developing innovative cellular immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, recently presented data from the TRANSCEND trial of JCAR017 in relapsed and refractory (r/r) aggressive B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) at the 2017 International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma in Lugano, Switzerland. JCAR017 is Juno's investigative chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell product candidate that targets CD19, a protein expressed on the surface of almost all B cell malignancies, and uses a defined composition of CD4 to CD8 T cells and a 4-1BB costimulatory domain, which differentiates it from other current CD19-directed CAR T product candidates. JCAR017 has been granted Breakthrough Therapy designation by the FDA for treatment of r/r aggressive large B cell NHL and PRIME designation by the European Medicines Agency for treatment of r/r diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), a type of NHL.
Cara Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CARA), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing new chemical entities designed to alleviate pain and pruritus by selectively targeting peripheral kappa opioid receptors, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to I.V. CR845 for the treatment of moderate-to-severe uremic pruritus (UP) in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients undergoing hemodialysis. "The FDA's decision to grant Breakthrough Therapy designation is recognition of both the significant unmet medical need among CKD patients with UP and the potential of I.V. CR845 to address it," said Derek Chalmers, Ph.D., D.Sc., President and Chief Executive Officer of Cara Therapeutics. "We have already initiated our Phase 3 program and look forward to working closely with the FDA to bring this potential new treatment option to hemodialysis patients as quickly as possible."
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