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Biotech Companies Turn Their Attention to Cancer as Global Incidences Grow
FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary
NEW YORK, March 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2018, cancer was the second leading cause of death around the globe. Cancer was responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in that year, or approximately one in six deaths, according to the World Health Organization. About 70% of the deaths occurred in low and middle-income countries, where many people lacked access to proper healthcare. However, the number of cases is still growing worldwide, especially in regions where the environment is potentially harmful to its occupants. Moreover, other factors such as a high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, tobacco and alcohol use, and lack of physical activity all contribute to the development of cancer. Cancer can also be passed down throughout each generation of a family based on hereditary factors. Now, the alarming number of incidences and deaths is causing the cancer market to accelerate, causing biotechnology players within the industry to develop advanced drug treatments to either suppress cancer or, ultimately, even cure it. Due to the growing number of cases, the demand for treatment is rising worldwide, which is causing the cancer drug market to see newfound strength. According to data compiled by Transparency Market Research, the global anticancer drugs market is expected to reach USD 155.6 Billion by 2025. Additionally, it is expected to grow at a CAGR between 6.5% from 2017 to 2025. SourcingLink.net, Inc. (OTC: SNET), Can-Fite BioPharma Ltd. (NYSE: CANF), Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: CYCC), BioLineRx Ltd. (NASDAQ: BLRX), OncoSec Medical Incorporated (NASDAQ: ONCS)
The anticancer drug market is segmented into immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and chemotherapy. The targeted therapy market accounts for more than 40% of share value in the global anticancer drug market. Compared to other drugs such as cytotoxic, anticancer drugs pose fewer side effects and also deliver effective and positive results. Additionally, in a recent research published in Nature, scientists tested anticancer drug compounds in animal models by blocking key genes involved in cancers like blood and liver cells. Unlike chemotherapy and radiology, there was no damage to healthy cells when target therapy was used, according to Futurity. However, the cancer itself was not eliminated but slowed or halted in its tracks. "This new class of compounds stop cancer cells dividing and proliferating by switching off their ability to continue the cell cycle," says research leader Anne Voss, Associate Professor in the Medical Biology Department at the University of Melbourne and Division Head of Development and Cancer at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. "The technical term is cell senescence, but essentially the cells are put to sleep. The cancer cells aren't dead, but they are effectively stopped in their tracks."
SourcingLink.net, Inc. (OTC: SNET) announced earlier last month that it, "signed a Letter of Intent to collaborate with NanoSmart Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a California-based company developing novel drug formulations to treat cancer. The collaboration includes co-development and an exclusive, world-wide license for specific formulations to treat cancer utilizing NanoSmart's proprietary 'targeted' drug delivery system that is designed to enhance delivery of drugs to a wide variety of cancer tumors.
SourcingLink.net is excited about the collaboration opportunity because new or already-approved chemotherapy drugs can be reformulated with greater efficacy and safety for treating cancer patients. The company believes that the reformulated drugs, subject to approval by the FDA and/or regional regulatory bodies, may be used as a monotherapy, or as a 'combo-therapy' with SNET's autologous cellular immuno-therapy approach, or with other therapies such as immune check point inhibitors. SNET expects to enter into a full exclusive 'world-wide' licensing and co-development agreement with NanoSmart under the terms of the Letter of Intent signed on February 25th, 2019.
The use of NanoSmart's enhanced drug delivery platform combined with pharmacogenomics and liquid biopsy for personalizing the therapy should augment cancer drug effectiveness and safety, and improve treatment monitoring, according to the company. Currently, SNET is focused on developing its 'core' autologous extracorporeal immuno-therapy device for a durable response.
About SourcingLink.net: SourcingLink.net, Inc. ("SNET") is a pioneering oncology company dedicated to developing, manufacturing and commercialization of therapeutics. SNET licensed Tulynode's patent pending Autologous Immuno-therapy for durable therapy response using an extracorporeal device. SourcingLink.net prides itself for having a world-class Advisory Board that keeps the Company leadership in the forefront of developing technologies in cancer research, biotechnology and healthcare. SourcingLink.net is currently engaging in research and development of therapeutics for oncology. SourcingLink.net is committed to its core corporate mission and values of highest U.S. Pharma Code of Conduct standards of behavior for being in compliance with the laws, regulations, company directives and guidance."
Can-Fite BioPharma Ltd. (NYSE: CANF) is an advanced clinical stage drug development Company with a platform technology that is designed to address multi-billion dollar markets in the treatment of cancer, inflammatory disease and sexual dysfunction. Can-Fite BioPharma Ltd. recently announced the expansion of its distribution agreement with Chong Kun Dang Pharmaceuticals (CKD) (Korean Stock Exchange: 185750.KS) in South Korea, for the indication of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). CKD will receive exclusive rights to distribute Namodenoson for the treatment of NASH in addition to liver cancer in South Korea. CKD has agreed to pay Can-Fite USD 1,000,000 upfront upon signing, with up to an additional USD 5,000,000 upon achieving certain regulatory and sales milestones. Can-Fite will also be entitled to a transfer price for delivering a finished product to CKD. "The pressing need for an effective drug in this field, where there is still no drug on the market, in our opinion, makes Namodenoson a strong potential candidate as we look towards Phase II results," stated Can-Fite's Director of Business Development, Dr. Sari Fishman. "We look forward to working with CKD to advance Namodenoson in South Korea."
Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: CYCC) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company using its expertise in cell cycle, transcriptional regulation and DNA damage response biology in cancer cells to develop innovative medicines. Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. recently provided a business update reviewing 2018 achievements and providing an outline of the Company's key business objectives for 2019. Cyclacel's clinical and business strategy were highlighted at a presentation during the 2019 Biotech Showcase Conference on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 from 9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. PST in the Yosemite C Suite at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. "In 2018, we presented our targeted oncology strategy with the objective of delivering important data readouts in the next twelve months," said Spiro Rombotis, President and Chief Executive Officer. "At the heart of our business strategy is targeting cancer patients with overexpression of resistance pathways, including Mcl-1, and inherited mutations in DNA damage pathways, including BRCA. Mcl-1, in particular, received wide attention during 2018 medical conferences. We believe CYC065 is the first investigational drug to have consistently demonstrated durable suppression of Mcl-1 in clinical trials at tolerable dosing. Our collaboration with MD Anderson Cancer Center to evaluate three Cyclacel compounds in up to 170 patients is an important development allowing us to advance our programs in a P&L sparing manner. With estimated capital on hand until mid-2020 we look forward to reporting data from our ongoing clinical studies and realizing shareholder value from our targeted drug pipeline."
BioLineRx Ltd. (NASDAQ: BLRX) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology. BioLineRx Ltd. recently announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug Designation to its lead oncology candidate, BL-8040, for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. BL-8040 is a short synthetic peptide for the treatment of hematological malignancies, solid tumors, and stem cell mobilization. It functions as a high-affinity best-in-class antagonist for CXCR4, a chemokine receptor that is directly involved in tumor progression, angiogenesis, metastasis and cell survival. BL-8040 has shown robust mobilization of cancer cells and immune-cells, sensitization of cancer cells to chemo- and bio-based anti-cancer therapies, and direct anti-cancer effect by inducing programmed cell death (apoptosis). BL-8040 was licensed by BioLineRx from Biokine Therapeutics and was previously developed under the name BKT-140. "Orphan Drug Designation in pancreatic cancer is a very important milestone in the development plan of BL-8040, and joins previously approved orphan designations by the FDA for BL-8040 in AML and stem-cell mobilization," stated Philip Serlin, Chief Executive Officer of BioLineRx. "Despite advances in the treatment of various cancers with immune checkpoint inhibitors, pancreatic cancer is refractory to these treatment options, and remains an area of significant unmet medical need. We have previously reported encouraging clinical data supporting the potential of BL-8040 as part of an immunotherapy combination treatment in pancreatic cancer, and we look forward to top-line results from our ongoing pancreatic clinical studies later this year."
OncoSec Medical Incorporated (NASDAQ: ONCS) is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing cytokine-based intratumoral immunotherapies to stimulate the body's immune system to target and attack cancer. OncoSec Medical Incorporated recently provided a clinical data update regarding KEYNOTE-695, as well as progress of its ongoing clinical development efforts and its outlook for 2019. OncoSec reported that one-fifth of patients in the study now evaluated, the observed preliminary response rate is approximately 24% (5/21) with enrollment ongoing. The observed preliminary ORR of approximately 24% is encouraging given the primary endpoint of KEYNOTE-695 is a 20% ORR. As of December 15, 2018, 21 patients have been treated and evaluated for tumor response by RECIST v1.1. Five of these 21 patients have experienced objective tumor responses, of which four were partial responses and one was a complete response. "2018 was a busy and productive year for OncoSec, and as we enter 2019, we are well-positioned to continue advancing our lead program, TAVO™, towards registration in multiple tumor settings in the United States beginning as early as 2020," said Daniel O'Connor, OncoSec's Chief Executive Officer. "Our focus in 2019 will be moving TAVO™ towards registration in our current indication of PD-1 refractory, late-stage melanoma, progressing our recently announced registration-enabled clinical study in cervical cancer, expanding our ability to target tumors affecting internal organs, advancing a new, second pipeline candidate for which we expect to file an IND in 2019, and completing KEYNOTE-890, our combination study with TAVO + KEYTRUDA® in TNBC. We believe that executing on this plan will extend the long-term valuation of our company and, most importantly, bring meaningful new treatments to patients and clinicians who very much need them."
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