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Lilly's Lartruvo/chemo combo surprises with Phase 3 failure in soft tissue carcinoma

Eli Lilly has reluctantly pulled back the curtain on new Phase 3 data for its platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFR-α) blocking antibody Lartruvo (olaratumab), revealing that the therapy failed to present clinical benefit in the treatment of advanced or metastatic soft tissue sarcoma (STS) when used in combination with standard of care chemotherapy drug doxorubicin, compared to doxorubicin alone.

The ANNOUNCE study sought to determine the overall survival (OS) benefit of the combination – it’s primary endpoint.

Roche's Tecentriq+chemo combo shows first-line benefit in small cell lung cancer

Roche has unveiled new Phase 3 data for its cancer immunotherapy Tecentriq (atezolizumab) in combination with carboplatin and etoposide chemotherapy as a first-line treatment for previously-untreated extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC), showing “significantly” improved rates of overall survival (OS) compared to chemotherapy alone.

Specifically, Roche’s combo extended OS by 12.3 months compared to 10.3 months with chemotherapy alone, while also improving progression-free survival by 5.2 months compared to 4.3 months.

CHMP recommend white blood cell growth stimulator biosimilar to EMA

White blood cells

The European Medicines Agency’s (EMA’s) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended the approval of two separate biosimilar versions of California-based biopharmaceutical company, Amgen’s Neulasta (pegfilgrastim).  

Both Accord Healthcare’s Pelgraz and Coherus Biosciences’ Udenyca were recommended to the EMA as biosimilar versions of Amgen’s biologic response modifier which is used to stimulate the growth of white blood cells in patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Convert secures €13.6m grant to develop targeted chemo for oxygen-deprived tumours

Belgium’s Convert Pharmaceuticals has secured a €13.6 million grant for initial development efforts on a new targeted chemotherapy drug which could provide benefit in oxygen-deprived cancer cells which older methods have difficulty in treating.

Introduction to Cancer: Focus on Solid Tumors

Novartis’ drug doubly effective as chemotherapy for treating lung cancer

Novartis have released that its drug, Zykadia, in Phase III trials, was twice as effective at slowing progression in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The results, posted from its ASCEND-4 study found that patients with anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive (ALK+) NSCLC had a median progression-free survival of 16.6 months compared to 8.1 months in those patients treated with chemotherapy.

Teva's drug to replace chemotherapy in acute leukaemia

Teva Pharmaceutical announced that their drug Trisenox has been given approval from the European Commission to become the first line treatment for Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia (APL) patients in Europe. This is the first time patients with a form of acute leukaemia will be able to be treated effectively without needing to undergo chemotherapy.

Trisenox, in combination with retinoic acid, has been shown to boast a 99% overall survival rate with very few relapses after more than four years of median follow-up.

New drugs to utilise DNA damage response to kill cancer cells

The University of Sussex is set to produce a portfolio of new cancer drugs which exploit our DNA damage response (DDR) system in order to kill cancer cells as part of a £6 million project funded by the Wellcome Trust and in collaboration with AstraZeneca.

DNA in healthy cells is damaged thousands of times daily, but the impact is reduced by the DDR system 1 - a network of cellular pathways which identify and repair the damage. However, many cancers are known to have defects within these pathways - which enable cancerous cells to grow and divide.

Midatech launch treatment to reduce chemo-induced vomiting in the US

Midatech Pharma (NASDAQ: MTP) has the full commercial launch of Zuplenz (ondansetron) in the US. The drug is an oral soluble film to prevent post-operative, chemotherapy and radiation-induced nausea and vomiting.

EU nod for Roche cancer drug and chemotherapy

Avastin image

The European Commission has approved Roche’s Avastin in combination with standard chemotherapy for women with advanced cervical cancer. 

Avastin (bevacizumab) combined with paclitaxel and cisplatin or, alternatively, paclitaxel and topotecan in patients who cannot receive platinum therapy – can now be used to treat adult patients with persistent, recurrent or metastatic carcinoma of the cervix. 

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