DailyUpdates 7th June: ASCO is finished for this year now but not before Gloucester Pharmaceuticals managed to counter yesterday’s news from Merck with clinical data on their own HDAC inhibitor. Together this means that the two most advanced HDAC inhibitors are progressing nicely towards the market and soon, we hope, cancer patients will be offered another option. Also today we report on Pfizer’s very early stage serotonin 5-HT receptor ligands, a class that is emerging from the arena of IBS to offer possibilities for a range of other indications including Alzheimer’s, atrial fibrillation and urge incontinence. See today’s edition here or read on for more
Featured Journal Article: Continued development of serotonin 5-HT4 receptor ligands: The serotonergic system, and particularly 5-HT4 receptor ligands has risen to prominence with the development of Zelnorm (Tegaserod), a selective serotonin 5-HT4-receptor partial agonist. Zelnorm has been approved for the treatment of constipation predominant IBS and idiopathic constipation in more than 56 countries, including Australia, Switzerland, Canada, the United States, Mexico, China and Brazil. Although European regulators recently recommended against approving the drug, Zelnorm is still one of Novartis' most successful compounds driving 2005 revenues of $418 million. Recent studies have demonstrated that 5-HT4 receptors are also implicated as targets for Alzheimer's disease (agonists), urge incontinence (antagonists) and atrial fibrillation (antagonists). Today's featured paper reports a series of high affinity 5-HT4 receptor ligands being developed by Pfizer.
Breaking News (from DailyUpdates-Oncology): More good news on HDAC inhibitors: Lead candidates from the exciting histone deacetylase inhibitor class are Merck's ZOLINZA (SAHA; vorinostat) and Gloucester Pharmaceuticals' Depsipeptide (FK228). Both candidates are evaluated in our feature Histone deacetylase inhibitors-Moving from the bench to a promising companion for classic and targeted cancer therapies, and yesterday Merck announced data on ZOLINZA reporting a 30% objective response in patients with advanced, refractory cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Today it is the turn of Gloucester who report an overall response rate of 36% in patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Both trials were pivotal trials and the two companies appear to be taking it to the wire on which will be the first to enter the market with this drug class.