A mitochondrial glutamine transporter variant is a key regulator of glutamine metabolism and metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells, and targeting such transporters could be a new strategy for controlling tumor growth.
In a deal with just $50 million up front but the potential to reach $2.5 billion, Tokyo’s Taiho Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Astex Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, U.K., are joining Merck & Co. Inc. in an exclusive worldwide research collaboration and license agreement to develop small-molecule inhibitors against several cancer targets, including the KRAS oncogene.
BEIJING – Chinese regulators granted the marketing nod to Beijing-based Beigene Ltd.‘s PD-1 antibody, tislelizumab, for treating patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) who have received at least two prior therapies. To be sold under the Chinese trade name Baize’an, tislelizumab is Beigene’s first drug to win approval in China, following an FDA approval for its BTK inhibitor, Brukinsa (zanubrutinib), last month. “We are preparing the commercialization of tislelizumab, and we will start supplying the drug soon,” Beigene’s media relations officer, Min Xiao, told BioWorld Asia.
Astellas Pharma Inc.’s early 2018 buyout of Universal Cells Inc. (UC) may have laid the groundwork for longer-range steps in allogeneic CAR T-cell therapy, but Xyphos Biosciences Inc. CEO James Knighton told BioWorld Asia that the buyout of his firm provides the Tokyo-based giant for now with “an incredibly elegant solution that has tremendous potential.”
A mere 26 months after the first patient was enrolled in its pivotal phase II study and about three months ahead of its PDUFA date, the FDA granted accelerated approval for Padcev (enfortumab vedotin-ejfv) to treat adults with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer.
Four new U.S. drug approvals, one accelerated for need, have handed a string of year-end victories to five drugmakers, marking an unusually active start to a week full of global holiday celebrations. Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd., Astrazeneca plc, Eisai Inc., Intra-Cellular Therapies Inc. and Allergan plc all secured new approvals from the agency.
BEIJING – China made strides in the CAR T space this month. The country approved two more candidates to enter clinical trials in December, and forerunner Nanjing Legend Biotech Co. Ltd. said its investigational CAR T therapy LCAR-B38M/JNJ-4528 co-developed with Janssen Biotech Inc. won FDA’s breakthrough therapy designation.
BEIJING – Jinan, China-based Qilu Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. has won the first approval for a China-developed biosimilar to Avastin (bevacizumab, Roche Holding AG). Its biosimilar QL-1101, to be sold under the trade name Ankada, has been approved to treat advanced, metastatic or recurrent non-small-cell lung cancer and metastatic colorectal cancer.
BEIJING – Suzhou-based Alphamab Oncology Co. Ltd. (HK:9966), which aims to bring the first PD-L1/CTLA4 bispecific antibody to China, saw its share prices jump almost 30% on its debut on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) on Dec. 12, 2019, ending the year on a positive note for the pre-revenue biotech.
HONG KONG – Israel-based Biolinerx Ltd. has unveiled the latest data from its ongoing phase IIa COMBAT/KEYNOTE-202 study at the European Society of Medical Oncology Immuno-Oncology Congress 2019 which evaluates Biolinerx’s BL-8040.