To say that 2014 was a good year for the biopharma industry would be a radical understatement. The flourishing capital markets, the record-breaking number of companies successfully going public via initial public offerings and the validation of scientific breakthroughs that only a few years ago had been mere theories all made for a banner year for the sector.
Genentech Inc., of South San Francisco, a member of the Roche Group, said the FDA accepted its supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) and granted priority review for Avastin (bevacizumab) plus chemotherapy for the treatment of women with recurrent platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.
This isn’t exactly “funny” – nothing about cancer is – but during the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago I couldn’t help noticing the multitude of hand-sanitizer vending devices posted around McCormick Place. They seemed … odd there. “Scrub some alcohol gel on your hands, so you don’t catch cold! Oh, cancer? Not a lot we can do about that. We’re working on it.” So they are. The number of abstracts submitted and attendees set records this year. I’m not always assigned to cover ASCO, but I’ve done my share, and 2014’s meeting seemed uncommonly active. Of...
GW Pharmaceuticals plc, of London, disclosed an agreement with New York state to initiate clinical trials using cannabidiol (CBD) to treat children diagnosed with epilepsy who suffer from seizures and other medical complications. New York will be the second state in the U.S. to initiate trials for CBD in children who have not been treated successfully by other methods.
LONDON – The discovery of a compound that can prevent replication of various coronaviruses – which cause common respiratory infections as well as rare but highly dangerous infections – has raised hopes that it may be possible in the future to develop drugs to treat these infections.
BOSTON – At the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, Monday's symposium on "the next emerging threat" acquired an unexpected timeliness as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials reported the first case of person-to-person transmission of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the U.S. – so much so that the session was hastily moved into the grand ballroom to accommodate surging interest.
Amgen Inc., of Thousand Oaks, Calif., and Astrazeneca plc, of London, reported that the phase III AMAGINE-1 study testing brodalumab, a drug designed to bind to the interleukin-17 receptor, in patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis met all primary and secondary endpoints for both evaluated doses.
Beigene Co. Ltd., of Beijing, received a $5 million milestone in the company's collaboration with Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA, of Darmstadt, Germany, for BGB-283, a second-generation BRAF inhibitor candidate currently in phase I development. The milestone triggers a $5 million payment from Merck to Beigene.
Last Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the first U.S. case of Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection. The patient had returned from Saudi Arabia on April 24, first fell ill in Indiana on April 27 and was hospitalized on April 28.