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Roche’s immunotherapy cancer drug given FDA approval

Coming off the back of earlier positive news this month, Roche has revealed that their drug, Tecentriq, has been given FDA approval for treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. The figures released earlier this month showed that those taking the drug lived a median of 13.8 months, which worked out, on average, as 4.2 months longer than those being treated with chemotherapy.

Nice rejects BMS’ immunotherapy Opdivo for previously treated kidney cancer on pricing

UK regulators have rejected Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (NYSE: BMY) immunotherapy Opdivo for previously treated kidney cancer on pricing and substantial uncertainty about the extent of the survival benefit of nivolumab when measured over the long term. 

Janssen says its immunotherapy daratumumab extends progression-free survival in combination study to treat multiple myeloma

Janssen said late-stage combination trials for its immunotherapy daratumumab increased progression-free survival for patients with multiple myeloma. 

The company said the Phase III study for the drug in combination with lenalidomide (an immunomodulatory agent) and dexamethasone (a corticosteroid) reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 63%.   

FDA grants accelerated approval for Roche’s bladder cancer immunotherapy Tecentriq

Roche (SIX: RO) has announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted accelerated approval for Tecentriq (atezolizumab) for the treatment of patients with a specific type of bladder cancer.

The drug is indicated for patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC) who have disease progression during of following platinum-based chemotherapy, or whose disease has worsened within 12 months of receiving platinum-based chemotherapy before surgery or after surgery. Urothelial carcinoma accounts for 90% of all bladder cancers.

Bristol-Myers Squibb cancer immunotherapy Opdivo approved in EU

Bristol-Myers Squibb has announced that its potentially life-extending cancer immunotherapy, Opdivo (nivolumab), has been approved by the European Commission to treat patients with the most common forms of advanced lung and advanced kidney cancer.

FDA accepts biologics license application for MSD’s allergy immunotherapy drug

MSD (NYSE: MRK) has announced that the US Food and Drug Administration has accepted for review the biologics license application for MK-8237, its sublingual allergy immunotherapy (SLIT) tablet for house dust mite allergies.

This application heavily draws on two Phase III clinical trials, involving more than 4,000 patients, which evaluated the efficacy and safety of MK-8237 in house dust mite-induced allergic rhinitis with or without conjunctivitis.

GSK and Adaptimmune expand R&D collaboration

Adaptimmune lab scientists growing research cells

Adaptimmune Therapeutics and GlaxoSmithKline have expanded the terms of their strategic collaboration agreement, to run clinical trials of Adaptimmune’s potential immunotherapy as a treatment for one of the rarest soft tissue cancers in the world.

The two companies announced a strategic collaboration and licensing agreement in June 2014 for up to five programs, including the lead program, a T-cell immunotherapy drug known as GSK3377794.

BioLineRx to test lead candidate with MSD’s Keytruda in pancreatic cancer

Keytruda image

Israeli biopharma company BioLineRx has announced a collaboration with MSD on a Phase II study investigating its lead oncology candidate, BL-8040, in combination with MSD’s immunotherapy Keytruda to treat metastatic pancreatic cancer.

BL-8040 has been shown in several clinical trials to be effective at inducing direct tumour cell death. Immuno-oncology studies suggest that drugs of this type – called CXCR4 antagonists – may stimulate anti-tumour T cells.

More breakthroughs in cancer pose the question: Who pays for them?

Published on 16/12/15 at 09:44am
R&D researcher
New resources are being directed towards meeting the future cost of fighting cancer

The molecular revolution over the last decade has done much to help turn cancer into an illness that can be managed, as opposed to a disease that prematurely ends lives.

Cancer immunotherapy is at the frontier of this change, challenging tumour cells’ ability to hide from the body’s immune system. 

GSK and Merck to study immunotherapy combo in solid tumours

GSK building

GSK and Merck will start a Phase I clinical trial in humans to evaluate GSK’s investigational cancer drugs with the immuno-oncology drug Keytruda.

GSK will trial its immunotherapy GSK3174998 alone and in combination with Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, Keytruda (pembrolizumab). The study will test the drugs in patients with locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic solid tumours that have progressed after standard treatment.

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