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Jim Datin
Posted by Jim Datin Biomarkers, Industry Update

A Dose of Pharma and Biotech News: February 13, 2019

A Dose of Pharma and Biotech News: February 13, 2019

We are in a truly exciting time of bioanalytical innovation, with progress accelerating around the development of biologic therapies that could cure and possibly eradicate diseases that were previously untreatable. We find it critical to stay on top of the latest industry developments to inform our own work and help our customers best address emerging bioanalytical challenges and opportunities. Today we’ve compiled some of our favorite recent industry articles of interest to share with you:

New ‘Trojan horse’ cancer treatment shows early promise
Pharma Times, February 11, 2019

A team at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust is seeing positive results in a Phase I/II global clinical trial for an innovative new cancer drug called tisotumab vedotin (TV) to treat a large number of different types of cancer – even those with very poor survival rates.

The treatment uses a completely novel mechanism of action, acting as a ‘Trojan horse’ to infiltrate cancer cells and kill them from within. Made up of a toxic drug attached to the tail end of an antibody, TV is designed to seek out and bind to a receptor called ‘tissue factor’, which is present at high levels on the surface of many cancer cells. The early study found that a significant minority of cancer patients responded to the drug, with their tumors either shrinking or stopping their growth.

Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) like TV provide a compelling combination of high specificity and therapeutic efficacy, linking monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to cell-killing agents to deliver lethal payloads directly to targeted tumor cells while leaving healthy tissue untouched. Learn how BioAgilytix is supporting customers at the leading edge of ADC development here.


Could a blood test provide early prediction of Alzheimer’s progression?
Bioanalysis Zone, February 1, 2019

Researchers have demonstrated that a blood test could predict inherited Alzheimer’s disease (AD) over a decade before the clinical symptoms appear. The study of data from 405 individuals by The Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Network (DIAN) found a correlation between rising neurofilament light (NfL) levels and the onset of clinical AD symptoms.

Most interestingly, patients converted from the pre-symptomatic stage to having clear cognitive and memory decline as NfL built up in the blood at a faster rate. This suggests that the increasing rate of change in NfL is a vital factor, and that biomarkers could be tracked over several years of blood testing for the most accurate diagnosis.

Biomarkers have shown immense clinical value for a variety of severe conditions, not just in screening and risk assessment but also in treatment across the spectrum of disease progression. Learn more about how BioAgilytix is applying our biomarker testing expertise for both large and small molecule drugs here.


Immunotherapy appears better than chemotherapy for aggressive type of skin cancer
ScienceDaily, February 7, 2019

The first study of the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab as the initial treatment for patients with Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), a rare but aggressive form of skin cancer, reports better responses and longer survival than expected with conventional chemotherapy. In fact, nearly 70% of patients in this study were alive two years after starting treatment.

MCC is an orphan disease that typically occurs in older people and those who have suppressed immune systems; in 80% of cases it is caused by a virus called the Merkel cell polyomavirus. These findings could be a precursor to developing more effective treatments for other virus-related cancers as well.

By removing constraints on the immune system’s natural ability to find and destroy cancer cells, immunotherapy is helping to drive safer and more effective treatment for many types of cancer. See how BioAgilytix’s team is working alongside leading pharma and biotech companies to advance promising immune oncological approaches and tools with expert bioanalysis here.

Have you seen exciting industry news that you’d like to share with us? We would love to see your articles and hear your perspectives – we will even include them in our next round up! Submit your headlines here.

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