Some new data take the edge off Bayer and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ ($REGN) eye drug Eylea. Second-year results from head-to-head studies against Roche’s Lucentis found that the drugs worked equally well at treating patients with wet age-related macular degeneration, when dosed on an as-needed basis. Patients using Eylea did have fewer injections during their second year of treatment, but the difference–an average of 4.2 for Eylea, versus 4.7 for Lucentis–wasn’t enough to brag about, analysts said.
Back problems and arthritis account for the biggest pain-treatment sales–and that’s not going to change anytime soon. According to a report from Decision Resources, treatments for chronic back and arthritis pain will continue to lead the way in the pain-management category, which amounts to a $20 billion market these days.
Samsung and Biogen Idec have entered an agreement to invest $300 million to establish a joint venture for the development, manufacture, and commercialization of biosimilars. Samsung will contribute $255 million for an 85% stake and Biogen Idec will contribute $45 million for a 15% stake. The joint venture, which will be based in Korea, will contract Biogen Idec and Samsung Biologics for technical development and manufacturing services. The joint venture will not pursue biosimilars of Biogen’s proprietary products.
Scientists have demonstrated the feasibility of using genomic and transciptional data resulting from integrative sequencing of tumors in a clinical setting as a means to match patients to drug trials. A Michigan Center for Translational Pathology team carried out a pilot study to explore the practical challenges associated with applying high-throughput sequencing in clinical oncology. They presented data from integrated DNA and transcriptome sequencing of patients’ tumors to a board of multidisciplinary experts for review. The review process by a panel of experts led to identification of potential mutations that could help identify which clinical trials would be most suitable. Arul M. Chinnaiyan, M.D., and colleagues reported their findings in Science Translational Medicine, in a paper titled “Personalized Oncology Through Integrative High-Throughput Sequencing: A Pilot Study.”
Newswise — December 1, 2011 – (BRONX, NY) – In a development that could pave the way for treatment for rare neurological diseases and clues to more common ones, physician-scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Einstein, have secured a grant to establish a clinical site for the Network for Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials (NeuroNEXT). One of only 25 such federally-funded centers in the country, the Einstein-Montefiore site was created in partnership with Einstein affiliates Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan and the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System. The NeuroNEXT network and its centers were established with grants from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Eisai’s US research subsidiary H3 Biomedicine has commenced operations at its new research facility, to advance drug discovery for cancer treatment. The facility aims to provide personalized medicine for different types of cancer, based on the latest genetic research findings and advances in synthetic organic chemistry.
Taking another step forward after the failure of a late-stage trial of its lead drug last year, MacroGenics has bagged a pharma deal to fuel development of an immune-stimulating antibody against cancer. Servier, France’s second-largest drugmaker, has ponied up $20 million upfront in the deal that gives it an option to develop and commercialize the drug, dubbed MGA271, for the European market.
A group of drug retailers are suing Pfizer’s ($PFE) Wyeth unit and generics maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ($TEVA), claiming that the companies worked together to keep generic versions of the antidepressant Effexor XR off the market, Bloomberg reports.
Dec. 1 marks the 24th anniversary of World AIDS Day. Last year, there were 2.7 million HIV infections, 390,000 of which were children. The message today from health officials and advocacy organizations: Let’s get that number down to zero. “Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths,” is the message from international AIDs & HIV charity Avert.org.
Scientists can now take that “a-ha” moment to go with a method Princeton University researchers developed — and successfully tested — to speed up the chances of an unexpected yet groundbreaking chemical discovery. The researchers report this month in the journal Science a technique to accomplish “accelerated serendipity” by using robotics to perform more than 1,000 chemical reactions a day with molecules never before combined. In a single day of trials, the Princeton researchers discovered a shortcut for producing pharmaceutical-like compounds that shaves weeks off the traditional process, the researchers report.