Two cancer drugs by AstraZeneca, lung cancer treatment Imfinzi, or durvalumab, and tremelimumab, have both received the FDA's orphan drug designation. Both drugs are currently being tested as a combo therapy in patients with liver cancer in the company's late-stage study dubbed Himalaya.
According to the World Health Organization, the lack of innovation regarding new antibiotic development and a decline in private investments supporting the battle against antimicrobial resistance are key threats to global health. "Numerous initiatives are underway to reduce resistance, but we also need countries and the pharmaceutical industry to step up and contribute with sustainable funding and innovative new medicines," said WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Bridge Biotherapeutics' investigational new drug application gained the FDA's clearance for BBT-176, its novel EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor, as a therapy for EGFR C797S-mutant non-small cell lung cancer. The biotech then plans to launch a dose-escalation study to assess BBT-176's anti-tumor efficacy, safety and tolerability while determining the treatment's maximum tolerated dose in its first-in-human study to be conducted in Korea.
Johnson & Johnson is seeking the FDA's approval for the expanded use of its chronic lymphocytic leukemia drug Imbruvica, or ibrutinib, combined with rituximab, as a first-line treatment for the disease.
Researchers are testing the safety of two combo treatments, which include the use of Rituxan, or rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone -- a combination known as R-CHOP -- plus MOR208, or tafasitamab, or R-CHOP combined with tafasitamab and Revlimid, or lenalidomide, in a multicenter phase Ib study. The trial will involve 60 treatment-naive patients diagnosed with intermediate- to high-risk diffuse large B-cell lymphoma from the US and Europe.
Eli Lilly announced its intention to increase the number of mergers and acquisitions this year to a rate of one deal within the range of $1 billion to $5 billion each quarter. Such deals would be similar to its recent acquisition of Dermira, according to Joshua Smiley, Lilly's senior vice president and chief financial officer.
A study in the journal Nature Immunology showed that a T cell with a receptor targeting the MR1 molecule was able to destroy blood, breast, bone, cervical, colon, kidney, lung, ovarian, prostate and skin cancer cells without affecting normal tissues. The findings suggest that the approach may be used in treating all cancers but more studies are still needed, researchers said.
The Supreme Court of Mexico last week overruled a regulation increasing the maximum ethanol content in gas sold in their country to 10% from 5.8%. "The ruling won't go into effect for 180 days, and proving ethanol is cheaper and better than MTBE for the environment shouldn't even take 180 minutes," said Ron Lamberty, senior vice president and market development director for the American Coalition for Ethanol, adding that the court ruled against the process and not the product.
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