Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Candidate shows new promise for treatment of COPD...The development of hTERT vaccines for the treatment of cancer

Todays Headlines from across the DailyUpdates network (28th June, 2006) Today we feature nearly 60 breaking journal articles from 11 therapeutic channels, plus 5 selected drug development press releases and 9 jobs from - featured research is from Norway where scientists are developing an hTERT vaccine for the treatment of cancer; our headline press release announces phase IIb data for a COPD candidate
  • Breaking News (from DailyUpdates-Immunology & Inflammatory Disorders): Candidate shows new promise for treatment of COPD: Global asthma/COPD sales should grow to $23 billion by 2014, with inhaled corticosteroid/long-acting bronchodilator combinations set to be the leading class by value in 2014. Today’s headlined press release from Vectura Group and Sosei announces phase IIb data for one their products, NVA237. This candidate was outlicensed to Novartis in 2005 and is in development for the treatment of COPD both as a monotherapy and in combination with Novartis’ once daily bronchodilator indacaterol. NVA237 is a long-acting anti-muscarinic (LAMA) bronchodilator relatively devoid of anti-muscarinic side effects. If it approved NVA237 is expected to be the second once-a-day anti-muscarinic treatment to be approved for marketing for COPD. Spiriva, the first LAMA product, received marketing approval in Europe and the US in April 2002 and February 2004 respectively and is expected to achieve peak annual sales of more than US$3 billion (see our feature on Asthma and COPD) [Source: Vectura Release]
  • Featured Journal Article (from DailyUpdates-Cancer Immunotherapy): The development of hTERT vaccines for the treatment of cancer Inhibition of telomerase activity in cancer cells results in telomere shortening, and leads to cell cycle arrest or apoptosis. Human telomerase activity is conferred by a complex comprising hTERT and an RNA component known as TERC. The pathological consequences of telomerase activation has been exploited by Geron who are developing GRN163L an hTERT inhibitor and also a vaccine that targets the host immune system to cells expressing hTERT. This vaccine has been evaluated in a 20 patient phase 1/2 trial in prostate cancer patients. The vaccine produced an immunological response and stabilized PSA levels. Today’s featured article reports on phase 1/2 data from the trial of a second vaccine being developed by GemVax. The vaccine which is a combination of telomerase peptides GV1001 and HR2822 was administered to patients with non-small cell lung cancer. The treatment was well tolerated with minor side effects. A complete tumor response was observed in one of 24 patients and the authors suggest that further studies should be conducted. GV1001 is also in phase 1 development for the treatment of pancreatic cancer and melanoma [Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2006 Feb 21; [Epub ahead of print]]


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