LONDON – Antibody prospecting specialist Alchemab Therapeutics Ltd. has raised £60 million (US$82.7 million) in a series A round, to take programs in neurodegenerative diseases and cancer into the clinic.
Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., in part because many cases aren’t diagnosed until they are advanced. Bluestar Genomics Inc. wants to change that with its epigenomics technology which can detect early pancreatic cancer from a standard blood draw by analyzing cell-free DNA in plasma. Now, the FDA has provided a bump, granting breakthrough device designation to Bluestar’s noninvasive pancreatic cancer detection test in patients with new-onset diabetes. According to the San Diego-based startup, of an estimated 60,000 patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the U.S., nearly a fourth are found to have new-onset diabetes prior to receiving their cancer diagnosis.
Positive results from the triple-combination arm of Biolinerx Ltd.’s phase IIa study of motixafortide as a combination therapy in incredibly tough-to-handle stage IV pancreatic cancer point toward a next study, yet the stock took a battering.
Endoscopic ultrasound-guided biopsy startup Limaca Medical Ltd. has raised $1.25 million of a $1.5 million round to advance its next-generation Precision device. The company said it will use the funds to complete first-in-human procedures, conduct postmarket clinical studies and gain regulatory approvals of Precision for gastrointestinal (GI) system and adjacent organ tumors.
Most of a pancreatic tumor is not made up of tumor cells – a double-edged sword for the tumor cells. This connective tissue component impedes blood flow, which is part of what makes pancreatic cancer so drug-resistant. But the lack of blood also means a lack of oxygen and nutrients, so pancreatic tumors must find alternate ways to feed themselves. That’s where nerves come in. In the Nov. 2, 2020, online issue of Cell, researchers published new insights into how innervation feeds tumors, and how to stop them from doing so.
Single-cell genomic analysis has shown that mutations in the KRAS oncogene co-opt a proto-oncogenic enhancer network in inflammation-induced metaplastic progenitor cells, initiating pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, Chinese researchers reported in the November 3, 2020, edition of Nature Cancer.
One of the reasons that pancreatic cancer remains such a stubbornly dismal disease is that it is extremely desmoplastic. In other words, most of a pancreatic tumor is not made up of tumor cells, but of stroma. Stroma, in turn, is a double-edged sword for the tumor cells. Its connective tissue component impedes blood flow, which is part of what makes pancreatic cancer so drug-resistant. But the lack of blood also means a lack of oxygen and nutrients, so pancreatic tumors must find alternate ways to feed themselves. That’s where nerves come in. In the Nov. 2, 2020, online issue of Cell, researchers published new insights into how innervation feeds tumors, and how to stop them from doing so.
Bluestar Genomics Inc. identified DNA-based epigenomic changes that could be used as new biomarkers that can detect pancreatic cancer before the malignancy, one of the deadliest of all cancers, becomes untreatable. The study was published in Nature Communications.
Pharmacyte Biotech Inc. is now in a series of 30-day cycles with the FDA as a planned phase IIb study of its lead candidate has been placed on hold. On Sept. 2, Pharmacyte submitted its IND for a phase IIb trial of its product, known as Cypcap, in locally advanced, inoperable pancreatic cancer and, on Oct. 2, the company said the FDA placed the application on hold.
BEIJING – CAR T-cell therapeutics developer Carsgen Therapeutics Co. Ltd., of Shanghai, won IND clearance from the FDA for its first-in-class CT-041 for advanced gastric and pancreatic cancers. The company said it is the first claudin18.2 (CLDN18.2)-targeted CAR T-cell therapy cleared for clinical trials in the world.