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Patients Demand Personalized Treatments for Cancer as Death Rates Soar

FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

NEW YORK, Oct. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Cancer is ranked among the top causes of death globally, and recent data indicates that the number of cancer related cases is only expected to rise. As a result, the global cancer therapeutics market is projected to grow. According to a research by Allied Market Research, the global cancer therapeutics market size was valued at USD 98,900 Million in 2018 and is expected to reach USD 180,193 Million by 2026 while registering a CAGR of 7.7% from 2019 to 2026. Among the many factors influencing the cancer therapeutics segment is the increase in cancer prevalence, growth of the geriatric population, surge in collaboration between pharmaceutical companies and the rise in cancer research. However, the high cost linked with oncology drug development and with adverse effects associated with cancer therapeutics are restraining the market growth. Yet, it is the upsurge in demand for personalized medicine and the potential of developing nations that is expected to provide new opportunities for the many market players in the future. In addition, an increase in competition and continuous technological advancements have led to improved product portfolios and more often product approvals. Q BioMed Inc. (OTC: QBIO), AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV), Seattle Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGEN), Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK), GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE: GSK)

To illustrate the dire need for new cancer therapeutic developments, the National Cancer Institute provided revealing statistics. The institute estimated that 1.73 million people in the U.S. were affected by cancer in 2018. Additionally, the report also suggested that 609,640 people passed away due to cancer in the same year. Overall, cancer research has accelerated over the past several decades. And typically, most cancer patients undergo various types of therapies such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Generally, these therapies use stimulants such as anti-cancer drugs or radiation to eradicate cancerous cells. However, the acceleration of the cancer technology market has introduced new procedures such as personalized treatments. Notably, formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) has become a crucial part of cancer research in labs in recent years. FFPE is a form of preservation and preparation for biopsy specimens that aid in the examination, experimental research, and diagnostic/drug development, according to Biochain. A tissue sample is first preserved by fixing it in formaldehyde to preserve the proteins and vital structures within the tissue. These tissues are then frequently used in immunohistochemistry (IHC). The information provided from IHC can aid doctors in spotting signs of diseases such as cancer or Alzheimer's. Now, as the cancer treatment industry continues to advance, medical researchers are continuing to develop treatments and therapies that will effectively eliminate or limit the condition in patients. And with the number of cases emerging around the world, the biotechnology market is primed to witnessed substantial growth. "I see major advances in saving lives from cancer in the next 10 years by eliminating cancer health disparities. By implementing our research findings and changing how we organize the care to patients, we can reduce and eliminate cancer health disparities," according to Karen M. Freund, M.D., M.P.H., Tufts Medical. " We have shown through research that providing additional support to vulnerable patients and to their physicians, to provide education, support, and address the unique barriers they face, we can provide all patients the best care and best hope for a cure."

Q BioMed Inc. (OTCQB: QBIO) announced today that, "it has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement for its non-opioid metastatic cancer pallion drug, Strontium-89 Chloride Injection USP (Strontium-89)/Metastron™, with Jubilant Radiopharma for the United States market.  Jubilant Radiopharma is an industry leading pharmaceutical company specializing in nuclear medicine focused on developing, manufacturing, commercializing and distributing high quality and sustainable diagnostic and therapeutic agents on a global scale.

Strontium-89 is an FDA-approved non-opioid radiopharmaceutical indicated for the treatment of painful skeletal metastases caused by cancer. The product is administered intravenously once every three months as an alternative to opioid analgesics and plays a critical role in the treatment of metastatic bone pain.

The partnership between Q BioMed and Jubilant Radiopharma means that once the FDA approves the Q BioMed contract manufacturer, the large population of potential Strontium-89 patients in the United States will again have the opportunity to access the drug. Denis Corin, CEO of Q BioMed, said of the deal, "Our partnership with Jubilant Radiopharma is an essential component of our upcoming commercial launch and means that we'll be able to reach providers and patients across the country through a scalable, highly-efficient program, thereby re-establishing supply of this life-changing therapy to those suffering from this debilitating pain."

Jubilant Radiopharma operates the second largest commercial radiopharmacy network in the United States. Pramod Yadav, CEO, Jubilant Pharma Limited stated, 'Jubilant Radiopharma is committed to improving lives through Nuclear Medicine by providing healthcare professionals access to high quality, FDA approved products that enable better patient outcomes. We are pleased to partner with Q BioMed to bring this important cancer pain therapy to healthcare providers and patients who so desperately need choices in cancer pain treatment.'

Q BioMed and Jubilant Radiopharma intend to announce further details regarding availability of Strontium-89 later this fall.

About Q BioMed Inc: Q BioMed Inc. is a biotech acceleration and commercial stage company. We are focused on licensing and acquiring undervalued biomedical assets in the healthcare sector. Q BioMed is dedicated to providing these target assets; strategic resources, developmental support, and expansion capital to ensure they meet their developmental potential, enabling them to provide products to patients in need‏."

AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) is a global, research and development-based biopharmaceutical company committed to developing innovative advanced therapies for some of the world's most complex and critical conditions. AbbVie recently announced that MERU, a Phase 3 trial evaluating Rova-T as a first-line maintenance therapy for advanced small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), demonstrated no survival benefit at a pre-planned interim analysis for patients receiving Rova-T as compared with placebo. The overall safety profile was generally consistent with that observed in previous studies. The MERU trial is being closed, and the Rova-T research and development program has been terminated. AbbVie will move forward prioritizing other development programs within its oncology pipeline. An Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC) recommended terminating MERU due to lack of survival benefit for patients receiving Rova-T compared with the placebo control arm based on results at a pre-planned interim analysis. Results from the MERU trial will be presented at a future medical meeting and/or published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. "Small-cell lung cancer continues to be one of the most difficult-to-treat cancers where there is a significant need for transformative therapies. We are disappointed with this outcome for the patients who suffer from this disease," said Margaret Foley, M.D., Vice President, Global Head of solid tumor development, AbbVie. "We remain committed to researching and developing other therapies with the potential to transform care for patients with small-cell lung cancer and other malignancies."

Seattle Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGEN) is an emerging multi-product, global biotechnology company that develops and commercializes transformative therapies targeting cancer to make a meaningful difference in people's lives. Recently the company announced that initial data were presented from the single arm phase 2 clinical trial known as MOUNTAINEER. The trial is evaluating the investigational agent tucatinib in combination with trastuzumab (Herceptin®) in patients with HER2-positive (HER2+), RAS wild-type metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) after treatment with first- and second-line standard-of-care therapies. The regimen demonstrated encouraging antitumor activity and was well tolerated. "It's exciting to see the initial results from the MOUNTAINEER trial. Tucatinib is a potent and selective inhibitor of HER2, and the combination of tucatinib and trastuzumab demonstrated significant activity for heavily pre-treated patients with HER2-positive metastatic colorectal cancer," said John H. Strickler, M.D., Duke University Medical Center. "There is an unmet clinical need for new treatments for patients with HER2-positive metastatic colorectal cancer," said Roger Dansey, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Seattle Genetics. "The trial demonstrated that tucatinib has the potential to play a role in the treatment of colorectal cancer. We look forward to developing tucatinib in combination with trastuzumab and other therapies for the treatment of HER2-positive metastatic colorectal cancer."

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK), for more than a century, a leading global biopharmaceutical company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Merck recently announced that first-line treatment with KEYTRUDA, Merck's anti-PD-1 therapy, in combination with chemotherapy demonstrated improvements in overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS) and objective response rate (ORR) in a pooled analysis of a subgroup of patients with advanced nonsquamous and squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors do not express PD-L1 (tumor proportion score [TPS] <1%) from three randomized trials. Patients with nonsquamous NSCLC with EGFR or ALK genomic tumor aberrations were ineligible. Results – from KEYNOTE-189, KEYNOTE-407 and KEYNOTE-021 (Cohort G) – were consistent with those observed in the overall study populations across all three trials. Findings were featured in an oral presentation at the IASLC 2019 World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer in Barcelona, Spain (Abstract #MA25.01). "The goal of our robust lung cancer clinical development program has always been to extend survival for patients who are diagnosed with this deadly and aggressive disease," said Dr. Jonathan Cheng, Vice President, Oncology Clinical Research, Merck Research Laboratories. "In this pooled analysis of three randomized KEYNOTE studies in advanced non-small cell lung cancer, KEYTRUDA in combination with chemotherapy demonstrated an improvement in overall survival compared to chemotherapy alone among newly diagnosed patients whose tumors do not express PD-L1."

GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE: GSK) is a science-led global healthcare company with a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, live longer. GlaxoSmithKline plc recently announced positive results from PRIMA (ENGOT-OV26/GOG-3012), the Phase 3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, study of ZEJULA (niraparib) as a maintenance therapy in patients with first-line ovarian cancer following platinum-based chemotherapy. The study met its primary endpoint of a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival for women regardless of their biomarker status. Dr Hal Barron, Chief Scientific Officer and President, R&D, GSK, said: "Almost 300,000 women around the world are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year, yet only about 15% of patients are currently eligible to receive PARP inhibitors as their initial therapy. These exciting data demonstrate that ZEJULA has the potential to significantly benefit even more women with this devastating cancer."

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