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Health Tech Aim to Change the Way Cancer is Treated

NEW YORK, April 9, 2019 /CNW/ --In 2018, there was an estimated 1.73 million new cancer cases diagnosed and 609,640 cancer deaths in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society. The organization expects cancer cases to continue to rise. By 2019, the American Cancer Society projects 1.76 million new cancer cases diagnosed and slightly lower number of deaths at 606,880 in the U.S. The alarming projection has caused concern within the biotechnology marketspace. Biotechnology players, specifically companies dabbling in the immunotherapy and oncology sector, are developing innovative treatments and therapies in order to effectively treat patients diagnosed with cancer. Predominantly, most patients suffer from lung, breast, and prostate cancer, and in 2019, the National Cancer Institute expects 268,000 new breast cancer cases, 228,150 new lung cancer cases, as well as 174,650 new prostate cancer cases. Several new cancer treatments such as immunomodulators, CAR-T cell therapy, and monoclonal antibodies are also becoming more abundant as biotechnology companies further develop and market these therapies. Compared to traditional treatments, these therapies are more technologically advanced, meaning they are more effective at suppressing or possibly even eliminating cancer. However, despite the progress in technology, the demand for cancer therapies isn't slowing down. Patients and medical institutes are constantly looking for more effective and efficient treatments in order to reduce the number of cases. According to data compiled by Grand View Research, the global cancer immunotherapy market size is expected to reach USD 126.9 Billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 9.6%. The industry is expected to grow due to the increasing patient pools and higher mortality rates. Additionally, an increasing number of approvals for new immunotherapeutic drugs are also expected to propel the market., Inc. (OTC: SNET), Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLDX), AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVEO), Daré Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ: DARE), Sierra Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRRA).

Throughout the process of cancer treatments, patients suffer from symptoms associated with cancer itself or even the therapy. Common side effects include vomiting, inflammation, and pain. Companies within the cancer sector are also developing treatments to combat these side effects, helping accelerate the overall cancer treatment market growth. The medications most commonly used include analgesics, antiemetics, antidepressants, and steroids. Other variations of treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy, are intended to slow or control the spread of cancer rather than treating the associated symptoms or curing cancer itself. "Today new avenues for cancer diagnostics and therapeutics present themselves. The choices include specific diagnostics, such as the rapidly evolving use of liquid biopsies that analyze cells and molecules spawned by the tumor and found in bodily fluids such as blood or urine, a more focused analysis of non-responders, the financial implications of future therapies, and an advocacy for a return to basic scientific research. The result of exploring these options will be a wider range of treatment choices for oncologists and a more positive outcome for patients," said Steve Brozak, President of WBB Securities, LLC, an investment bank and research firm that specializes in the biotechnology, specialty pharmaceutical and medical device sectors., Inc. (OTC: SNET) earlier last week announced that, "it entered into an exclusive, worldwide licensing agreement with NanoSmart Pharmaceuticals, Inc (NanoSmart) for the right to use NanoSmart's Anti-Nuclear Antibody (ANA)-targeted drug delivery technologies to develop and commercialize chemotherapy drug formulations for veterinary oncology.

The National Cancer Institute estimated that as many as 12 million pets are diagnosed with cancer each year. The pet cancer therapeutics market, according to Global Insights [source:] is projected to exceed a revenue of $300 million by 2024, with a compound annual growth rate of 10% over 2017-2024.  In addition, the Comparative Oncology Program of the National Cancer Institute is designed to "gain a better understanding of the biology of cancer and improve the assessment of novel treatments for humans by treating pet animals with naturally-occurring cancers." [source: NCI Center for Cancer Research:] stated, 'We are pleased to have licensed the application of NanoSmart's tumor-targeting technologies to improve the safety and quality of treatments for animals suffering from cancer and other diseases. This is a significant extension of our oncology product portfolio into animal health care to address the growing need for improved pet cancer therapies that can improve outcomes and extend lifespan.'

The license includes broad access to NanoSmart's proprietary drug delivery approaches, including ANA-targeted nanoparticles, for the purpose of developing veterinary oncology drug products. Under the terms of the agreement, NanoSmart will receive restricted common shares of SNET stock, an upfront fee, an annual maintenance fee, and a high single-digit royalty on net sales of formulations that incorporate NanoSmart's intellectual property. Dr. James Smith, President of NanoSmart, stated, 'This additional license agreement demonstrates the value and broad-applicability of our drug delivery platform technologies. The development of products for this market will also support SNET's and NanoSmart's mutual goal to provide new and affordable therapeutic options to those suffering from this devastating disease. We look forward to supporting the SNET team to develop and commercialize these novel products.'

About, 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. 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. is currently engaging in research and development of therapeutics for oncology. 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."

Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLDX) is developing targeted therapeutics to address devastating diseases for which available treatments are inadequate. Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. recently presented interim data from the Company's CD40 agonist program in a late-breaking poster session at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2019. CD40, expressed on dendritic cells and other antigen presenting cells, is an important target for immunotherapy, as it plays a critical role in the activation of innate and adaptive immune responses. CDX-1140 is a fully human agonist anti-CD40 monoclonal antibody that was specifically designed to balance good systemic exposure and safety with potent biological activity, a profile which differentiates CDX-1140 from other CD40-activating antibodies. CDX-1140 is currently in a Phase 1 dose escalation study. The study includes both monotherapy and combination cohorts with CDX-301, Celldex's dendritic cell growth factor, designed to increase the number of dendritic cells which are critical to initiating antitumor immunity and are a key target for CDX-1140. "Preclinical data support that CD40 activation could play an extremely important role in cancer immunotherapy by activating anti-tumor immunity and overcoming resistance to PD-1 blockade," said Rachel Sanborn, MD, Co-director of the Thoracic Oncology Program and Leader of the Phase 1 Trials Program at Providence Cancer Institute and a lead investigator in this study. "The interim results presented today have demonstrated that CDX-1140 is a potent activator of CD40 and can be safely administered at doses that we believe will support good tissue and tumor penetration. We are now reaching dose levels that have the potential for meaningful clinical benefit, especially in combination with drugs that target other key immune pathways, and look forward to initiating tumor specific expansion cohorts to test potential clinical activity."

AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVEO) is a biopharmaceutical company seeking to advance targeted medicines for oncology and other unmet medical needs. AVEO Oncology recently announced results from an investigator-sponsored Phase Ib expansion cohort of ficlatuzumab, AVEO's potent hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) inhibitory antibody product candidate, in combination with cytarabine in patients with relapsed and refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The results were presented in a poster session at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 2019 Annual Meeting. Elevated serum HGF level is an adverse prognostic factor associated with worse survival in AML and other cancers. Pre-clinical models have shown that myeloid blasts produce HGF and that blocking the HGF/c-Met pathway sensitizes blasts to cell death. The Phase Ib trial, which was funded by Gateway for Cancer Research and is being conducted at the UCSF Medical Center under the direction of Charalambos Andreadis, M.D., Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Director, Clinical Research Support Office, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, was designed to assess the safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy of ficlatuzumab with cytarabine in AML patients who are refractory to first line therapy (7+3) or have relapsed within one year of induction, a population known to have poor outcomes. "Patients with AML who are refractory to induction therapy or relapse within one year have poor outcomes," said Dr. Andreadis. "Elevated serum HGF level is an adverse prognostic factor, and these results demonstrate that the anti-HGF antibody ficlatuzumab combined with cytarabine holds potential to affect outcomes in patients with relapsed or refractory AML. We look forward to potentially evaluating ficlatuzumab in larger outcome studies in AML."

Daré Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ: DARE) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to the advancement of innovative products for women's health. Daré Bioscience, Inc. recently announced the publication of clinical findings for vaginally-administered tamoxifen in Clinical and Experimental Obstetrics and Gynecology, a leading international journal for publication of research focused on the development of new therapeutic interventions for obstetrics and gynecology. Daré's product candidate, DARE-VVA1, incorporates tamoxifen in a proprietary formulation designed for vaginal delivery. Daré holds the exclusive worldwide rights to patents issued in the U.S. and Japan covering the use and delivery of DARE-VVA1 for vulvar and vaginal atrophy (VVA) and a U.S. patent covering composition, use and delivery of DARE-VVA1 for VVA. VVA is an inflammation of the vaginal epithelium due to the reduction in levels of circulating estrogen. Historically, estrogen-based therapies delivered through creams, rings, and tablet supplements have been prescribed for the treatment of VVA symptoms. However, estrogen-based products can be worrisome for women undergoing treatment for hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer and are often contraindicated in such breast cancer patients and in patients with a genetic predisposition or history of familial disease, because of the concern that estrogen use will promote recurrence of disease. Many breast cancer survivors undergo menopausal symptoms as a direct consequence of cancer treatment. Breast cancer patients treated with aromatase inhibitors refer to VVA as one of the most unpleasant side effects of treatment. This exploratory study demonstrated that vaginal administration of tamoxifen for three months in postmenopausal women with VVA is a possible new, non-estrogen-based treatment approach.  Daré is currently conducting activities in preparation for future clinical work with DARE-VVA1, its proprietary vaginal formulation of tamoxifen. If successful, DARE-VVA1 could be the first and only vaginally administered tamoxifen product approved by the FDA for the treatment of VVA in hormone-receptor positive breast cancer patients. According to the American Cancer Society, roughly 2 out of every 3 cases of breast cancer are hormone receptor-positive. Most of these cases are ER-positive, meaning that there are estrogen receptors on the surface of the cell that bind to estrogen.

Sierra Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRRA) is a clinical stage drug development company advancing targeted therapeutics for the treatment of patients with unmet medical needs in hematology and oncology. Sierra Oncology, Inc. recently reported preclinical data for its novel oral Cdc7 inhibitor, SRA141, in a late-breaking poster presented at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. SRA141 is a novel, potent, orally bioavailable selective inhibitor of Cell division cycle 7 (Cdc7) kinase. Owing to its important role in DNA replication, and its overexpression in various neoplasms, Cdc7 is an attractive therapeutic target with emerging clinical validation in oncology. SRA141 has been shown to cause cancer cell death in a p53-independent manner and to induce tumor regression or stasis in a variety of in vivo cancer models, including complete and partial regressions in animal models of colorectal cancer. "Prior studies demonstrated that SRA141 potently and selectively inhibits Cdc7, resulting in robust anti-tumor efficacy in colorectal xenograft models, however, the compound's exact mechanism of action has not been characterized previously. Our findings reveal a potentially novel mechanism of cytotoxicity for Cdc7 inhibitors that is distinct from other agents, and thus SRA141 may herald a new class of cancer therapeutic agents with a differentiated anti-tumor profile," said Dr. Eric J. Brown, Associate Professor of Cancer Biology at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, and member of Sierra's DNA damage response (DDR) Advisory Committee.

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