JULY 13th, 2005
Emphasizing that the most widely used medical treatments are based
on compounds derived from nature’s greenhouse, PhytoMedical Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB:PYTO), reported that it has entered
into an agreement with Fusion Capital Fund II, LLC to finance the development and commercialization of its plant derived pharmaceutical
and nutraceutical compounds.
Similar to Fusion Capital’s agreement with HepaLife, Fusion
Capital has agreed to purchase $10 million in common stock over a period of 25 months. The agreement, which is subject to
stipulations concerning the exact timing, price of the stock and amount of the investment, is expected to revolve around a
program that involves 25 monthly payments of $400,000.00 each.
Mr. Harmel S. Rayat, a Director of PhytoMedical Technologies and
also, HepaLife, commented on the investment and the PhytoMedical’s medical focus, "Fusion's unique and innovative financing
commitment will allow our Company to raise a significant amount of capital efficiently and on a cost effective basis from
a single institutional investor. Now our management team can focus on PhytoMedical's core research activities, expanding and
accelerating the scope of our science and working towards developing clinically approved products for two of the most devastating
disease states in America - diabetes and cachexia."
PhytoMedical also provided interesting statistics that illustrate
what may be lost as tropical rain forests are turned indiscriminately into barren landscapes. The company reports that an
estimated 300 important drugs still remain to be discovered from the 250,000 species of higher plants. The company says that
only 15 percent of the plants so far have been studied for bioactive compounds. Underscoring the point, PhytoMedical reports
that twenty of the best selling drugs come from natural plant sources.
Currently PhytoMedical is focused on the development of BDC-03,
a plant derived compound that has potential to fight Cachexia through the promotion of a lower fat percentage, lower cholesterol
and increased lean muscle mass. Cachexia, a real concern for those that have cancer or AIDs, can result in a lose up to 30
percent of lean muscle mass – a major factor that effects vital organs and often results in the death of the patient.
Cachexia is said to afflict 25 percent of all AIDs patients and
90 percent of all cancer patients.
The company also is focused on diabetes. An interesting result that
the company noted from a study published in Diabetes Care, from the American Diabetes Association, was that one gram of cinnamon
can lower blood sugar by an average of 18 to 29 percent. Significant reductions in triglycerides and LDL cholesterol were
also noted in the study. These positive effects lasted for at least 20 days after the cinnamon treatment was stopped. PhytoMedical
is currently working on synthesizing the active components in cinnamon.
JULY 12th, 2005
Transgene (Eurolist Paris : FR0005175080 - NASDAQ: TRGNY) has raised
34.9 million Euros in an oversubscribed subscription placement of 4,657,500 ABSA priced at 7.50 Euros. The company indicated
that an extension is planned that may result in a further 18.7 million euros.
Transgene develops therapeutic vaccines and immunotherapeutic products
for the treatment of oncology and infectious diseases.
JULY 11th, 2005
Furthering its position in the general market for cancer therapeutics
with a Series C Private Placement is Panacea Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The company has been working on product development related
to the enzyme human aspartyl (asparaginyl) Beta-hydroxylase (HAAH). The company reports that HAAH over-expression has been
observed in the tissue of over twenty tumor types that have been tested so far. These include pancreas, breast, ovary, liver,
colon, prostate, lung, brain, and bile duct tumors. The company also says that “HAAH over-expression has been detected
in 99% of tumor specimens (greater than 1000) tested to date and has not been detected in normal or adjacent non-affected
The company in collaboration with MIT has indicated success with
product developments formulated with HAAH in mind. According to Hossein A. Ghanbari, PhD, CEO and Chief Scientific Officer
of Panacea, "We're excited by the continued strength of our findings in the HAAH cancer program. These include the recent
milestone we achieved under our antibody development collaboration with MIT, as well as positive efficacy studies in animal
models of human primary liver cancer and metastatic human colon cancer."
Investors in the Series C Private Placement, which raised about
$7 million, were listed as Mitsubishi Corporation Life Sciences Venture, Olympus, JSR, Shin-Etsu Chemical, Fuji Photo Film,
Dai Nippon Printing, and Tokio Marine and Nichido Fire Insurance.
JULY 1st, 2005
Immunicon Corporation. (NASDAQ:IMMC) has completed the sale of 4,137,902
shares of common stock generating gross proceeds of $19.7 million. Immunicon is focused on the development and commercialization
of cell- and molecular-based human diagnostic and life science research products. Within that realm the company has concentrated
its efforts on cancer disease management. Specifically its platforms are used for the selection and analysis of rare cells
that circulate in the blood stream, such as tumor cells and endothelial cells.
JUNE 30th, 2005
Topping off a $5.7 million Series A round in 2004, Exagen Diagnostics,
Inc. has completed a $7 million Series B round of financing. Participants in the new round included Tullis-Dickerson &
Co., the round leader, as well as vSpring Capital and Wasatch Venture Fund.
Waneta Tuttle, Ph.D., Exagen’s President, outlined the budget
for the funds, "This round of funding gives Exagen the resources to accelerate our go-to-market plans and advance our pipeline.
We plan to be the first provider of genomic marker IVD kits for breast cancer that enable widespread use in any CLIA-certified
laboratory. Our first tests are the Key2 Breast Cancer Prognosis panel of products that detect changes in DNA copy number
in both hormone receptor-positive and hormone receptor-negative tumors."
Exagen’s IVD kits are used to predict the risk of the advancement
of a disease and a patient's individual response to a specific drug planned for treatment. The company in addition to its
breast cancer tests, plans tests for hepatitis C in order to determine if a patient will respond to treatments with interferon
JUNE 29th, 2005
Blood Vessel Formation Protein Targeted as Cancer Cell
Nutrient Source- Potential to Stop Metastasis
Supratek Pharma Inc. has reported the discovery of a new drug target that the company
considers a key to stopping the spread of aggressive and deadly forms of cancer. Dr. Francis Bellido,
President of Supratek, in reporting the development first explained the cancer growth mechanism, "This is very
exciting news in cancer research. Ultimately, the cause of death for most cancer patients is metastasis, the spread of cancer
from primary to distant sites. This is the first step towards developing drugs capable of halting this deadly
Identified as the potential culprit, which allows cancer to spread
quickly, is a protein secreted by cancer cells known as the Metastasis Associated Protein. This protein is said to induce
the formation of blood vessels with the intended function of nourishing the cancer cells. Dr. Bellido noted that the
protein is now the subject of the company’s present efforts, since its function in cancer progression
has just been realized, "The protein has been studied for years, but its role in cancer progression eluded scientists
until now. Our research team has been working diligently to translate this new knowledge into new antimetastatic
Supratek also noted that several drug candidates have been identified
for the new target. The company is optimistic that a new drug treatment will arise much faster than is the usual case in medical
JUNE 29th, 2005
pSivida Limited (NASDAQ:PSDV) and the Singapore General Hospital
have reported on PhaseIIa clinical trials as a result of the use of BrachySil, a new brachytherapy treatment for inoperable
primary liver cancer. Results of the trial, conduted at Singapore General on eight patients, indicated tumor regression with
what appears to be no significant adverse affects. The patients were evaluated at three and six months periods following
According to Gavin Rezos, Managing Director of pSivida, "This report
confirms the excellent results for BrachySil that we previously announced at the 12-week interim study time point, and will
provide not only a robust foundation for future clinical development and regulatory filing, but also a springboard for our
ongoing licensing activities with partners looking to enhance their own portfolios of specialist cancer therapies."
Dr. Pierce Chow, Senior Consultant, Hepatobiliary and General Surgery
at Singapore General Hospital, also expressed optimism about the treatment, "From the perspective of patients suffering with
advanced cancer of this kind, BrachySil promises to offer the possibility of an effective, safe and relatively pain-free
treatment, which can potentially improve both the duration and quality of life. We, at the SGH, are very encouraged by the
promising data seen to date with BrachySil(TM) and are optimistic that subsequent clinical trials will continue to show positive
results in this and other serious cancer indications."
Among many of the attributes of the technology is that it
is a simple procedure that permits the patient to be discharged from the hospital the next day. BrachySil, is a micron-sized
nanostructured silicon particle administered through a needle directly into tumors. Within the BrachySil is radioactive
32-phosphorus (32-P) used to induce tumorcide.
One of the features of the technology, as opposed to other methods,
is that the radioactive material is immobilized and because of this apparently has little negative effect on adjacent healthy
tissue. According to pSivida, the “key finding is that BrachySil microparticles remain in the tumor with
no or insignificant detectable radioactive leakage. This observation is a very significant outcome for the trial. Unlike other
liver brachytherapy approaches that involve delivery via the hepatic artery which, in some cases, results in radioactivity
becoming associated with healthy tissue, BrachySil is administered directly into tumors restricting radioactivity to
the tumor itself.”
JUNE 28th, 2005
IsoRay Medical, Inc. with the close of its latest round reported
that it has raised over $10 million in the last 18 months. The company offers a proprietary medical isotope, Cesium-131, for
the treatment of prostrate cancer. The isotope is considered a low-level radioactive treatment alternative. According to Roger
Girard, CEO of IsoRay, "We believe Cesium-131 to be a very effective option for men choosing brachytherapy to treat their
prostate cancer. We expect it to kill the cancerous cells more rapidly, with a shorter duration and with less side-effects.
This will allow patients to return to a normal lifestyle within a very short time period."
The company plans another funding round in October of 2005. The
company notes that over 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostrate cancer in the United States this year.
JUNE 24th, 2005
Martin Nutraceuticals Inc. (Pink Sheets:MTNU) has suggested
that women suffering from arthritis take a closer look at Arthrizyme as an alternative to Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen, the company
notes, has been indicted as a source of breast cancer. The company took the following quote from the Journal of the National
Cancer Institute, in support of its claim, "1,500 women who have been taking Ibuprofen for 5 years or more, are at an increased
risk of breast cancer by 51%."
Dr. Martin, Director of Research and Product Development at Martin
Nutraceuticals Inc. commented on the bad news about Ibuprofen, "These results ought to scare the life out of arthritic patients
on Ibuprofen. With the use of Celebrex and Vioxx also causing great concern, the market is looking for a safe alternative
that is highly effective. The answer is found in Arthrizyme, the all natural patent-pending systemic oral enzyme formula developed
by Martin Nutraceuticals Inc."
Martin Nutraceuticals notes that Arthrizyme operates through the
breakdown of harmful protein and 1 out of 3 Americans have some form of Arthritis.
JUNE 22nd, 2005
Grant Life Sciences Looks to $2 Million in Secured
Convertible Notes for Cervical Cancer Test Technology
Grant Life Sciences (OTC Bulletin Board: GLIF) expects to complete $2 million in financing
in connection with 10 percent Callable Secured Convertible Notes. The company plans to use the funding to increase its revenue
stream from its AccuDx product line. According to Stan Yakatan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "In addition to providing
us with working capital, this financing allows us to begin executing our plans to generate revenues from our AccuDx product
line, and it allows us to substantially advance development of our cervical cancer blood test."
JUNE 17th, 2005
Exelixis, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXEL) in an agreement with Symphony Capital
Partners, L.P. have formed Symphony Evolution Inc. The new company is to further develop XL647, XL999 and XL784. The formation
of the company involved an $80 million funding transaction. As part of the transaction, Symphony Evolution will be initially
capitalized at $40 million and has an option for an additional $20 million to $40 million investment. As part of the agreement,
Exelixis licensed intellectual property for the XL647, XL999 and XL784 compounds to Symphony Evolution.
The XL line of compounds are used in the treatment of a wide variety
of diseases includingcancer. Specificallly, the XL647, XL999 and XL880 are anti-cancer compounds currently in Phase I clinical
Exelixis is a genomics based drug discovery company.
JUNE 13th, 2005
Maxim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAXM)(SSE:MAXM) reported the
publication of an article in the Journal of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics (4:761-771, 2005), that describes the a therapy
which selectively induces apoptosis in tumor cells. The anticancer compounds used were identified with Maxim's proprietary
cell and chemical genetics-based screening assay , considered essential to the identification of new pathways and drugs that
induce apoptosis selectively - sparing necessary human cells and speeding apoptosis in cancer cells. The system has potential
applications that may also help determine what pathways and nutraceuticals enhance the functions of vital human cells and
deter apoptosis. Maxim refers to its development system as a live cell high-throughput caspase-3 screening technology.
JUNE 13th, 2005
ZIOPHARM, Inc., a developer of small molecule therapeutics, has completed a Series A Convertible
Preferred Stock offering. The lead investor was Paramount BioCapital, Inc. Gross proceeds were estimated at $18.1 million.
Net proceeds are expected to be used for on-going research and development, manufacturing and clinical trials related to ZIO-101
(organic arsenic) and ZIO-201 (isophosphoramide mustard-lysine) used in the treatment of hematological malignancies, solid
tumors and sarcoma (ZIO-201).
A central strategy of ZIOPHARM's business model is to acquire, develop
and commercialize technology through in-licensing of cancer related technology. Reflecting that strategy were comments from
Jonathan Lewis, MD, PhD, Chief Executive Officer at ZIOPHAR, "We are now better positioned to negotiate a third licensed clinical
product. ZIOPHARM is a semi-virtual specialty cancer company with industry-hardened veterans who can effectively deliver on
in-licensing products, out-sourcing of preclinical and clinical development, and eventual commercialization of niche products.
We expect that when brought to market, these products would have cost-effective manufacturing, pricing and reimbursement with
the potential for several hundred million dollars in sales through our own specialty force, marketing in major markets."
JUNE 3rd, 2005
GlycoGenesys, Inc., (NASDAQ: GLGS), a company focused on carbohydrate-based
drugs, was issued a patent related to the control of angiogenesis and diseases related to the angiogenesis process. The company
pointed out that angiogenesis, the blood vessel formation process, has relevance in the areas of cancer, macular degeneration,
and endometriosis. Bradley J Carver, CEO at GlucoGenesys, specifically referred to the company's drug , GCS-100, which the
patent helps protect, "Pre-clinical studies have shown that GCS-100 and other modified pectins covered by our new patent can
inhibit angiogenesis. This is important as it provides potential for the use of GCS-100 and other modified pectins not only
in the treatment of cancer, which is the primary focus of our clinical trials, but also in diseases outside of cancer. We
are quite pleased by the addition of this patent to the Company's already broad patent portfolio around GCS-100 and other
The company was issued United States Patent No. 6,890,906 , entitled,
"Method for controlling angiogenesis in animals."
JUNE 1st, 2005
MethylGene Announces Preclinical Results for Anti-Tumor
MethylGene Inc. (TSX:MYG) reported that preclinical results indicated its lead molecule is
competitive with other drugs currently offered for oral anti-tumor efficacy. The company explained that its multi-kinase inhibitor
program addressed the three tumor processes: initiation, maintenance and growth. MethylGene's small molecule is said to target
the tyrosine kinases involved in the three tumor processes.
Donald F. Corcoran, President and CEO of MethylGene noted the key
differences in his company's molecules than the competition,
"We believe that our advantage is that with one molecule we have the ability to target multiple kinases involved in three
key processes of tumor development whereas most of our competitors have molecules targeting only one or two of these processes.
This preclinical work further validates our ability to add depth to our pipeline by using our core competencies in medicinal
chemistry and rational drug design to identify novel compounds. We are in the process of choosing a clinical candidate from
our optimized leads."
MAY 31st, 2005
Cylene Pharmaceuticals has completed a $26.3 million Series B round
of financing. The funding was led by Coastview Capital. The eleven others that participated in the funding included BioVentures
Investors, IngleWood Ventures, Mitsui & Co. Venture Partners, Morningside Venture Investments, Novartis BioVentures, Sanderling
Ventures, TDL Investors, Lakeview Capital, Research Corporation Technologies, William Harris Investors, and the Viterbi Group.
William Rice, Ph.D., President and CEO of Cylene announced the financing
at the 7th Annual C21 BioVentures Conference, "Successful completion of this financing is a major milestone for Cylene. This
funding will enable us to advance our therapeutic pipeline of quadruplex targeting agents into the clinic, beginning with
CX-3543. We anticipate nominating a second clinical candidate within the next 12 months."
CX-3543, is the company's lead product for the treatment of multiple
cancers. In that area, the company has focused its attention on quadruplex motifs, which the company notes "regulate the expression
of clusters of key oncogenes but not normal cellular genes." Cylene's Quadruplex Targeting is used to drive its apoptosis
inducing technology towards cancer cells, enabling their destruction.
MAY 26th, 2005
AMD and HP to Donate Proceeds from Computers to Cancer
AMD (NYSE:AMD) and HP (NYSE:HPQ)(NASDAQ:HPQ), major players in the computer market, have announced
a joint initiative to support the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF), a non-profit cancer organization. AMD, for its part states
that it "has made a two-year commitment to help generate a minimum of $4 million for the LAF from this initiative." Additionally
$50.00 from each HP Special Edition L2000 Notebook PC will be contributed to the LAF. That computer bears a reproduction of
Lance Armstrong's autograph.
Henri Richard, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at AMD expressed
his thoughts about Lance Armstrong's struggle and accomplishments, "At AMD, we are inspired by Lance's perseverance to overcome
great odds, and impressed by his ability to effectively employ the power of technology. We are excited by the opportunity
to help empower the LAF and the community it serves using our technology and our established alliances with HP and Lance Armstrong."
Lance Armstrong, a Olympic bicyclist, founded the LAF foundation
MAY 24th, 2005
In line with current trends in the microarray medical diagnostic
market, DNAPrint genomics, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: DNAP) will soon start an analysis of its OVANOME predictive assay. The
goal of the study is to further the development of a diagnostic test to determine if a specific ovarian cancer patient will
elicit a positive response from Taxol-Carboplatin (TC) chemotherapy. According to the company, TC "elicits only a 70% positive
response rate." Furthermore according to Hector J. Gomez, M.D., Ph.D., DNAPrint's Chief Medical Officer, "This study could
lead to the development of a diagnostic test for predicting TC response, enabling physicians to identify patients most likely
to respond to TC therapy prior to treatment. It could also spare non-responding patients from going through a treatment program
that would not be effective in the first place."
Noting the seriousness of failed TC was Rafael Blanco, M.D., the
principal investigator at Bay Area Oncology, "Patients who do not respond to first-line treatment for ovarian cancer exhibit
higher mortality than those who do. Methods that allow the inference of a patient's reaction to treatment could enable those
genetically predisposed for non-response to avoid a failed TC first-line and be treated immediately with an alternative therapy."
MAY 23rd, 2005
Gemin X Raises $65.2 Million for Leukemia Treatment
Gemin X Biotechnologies Inc., focused on apoptosis regulation based cancer treatments, has
raised $62.5 million in financing. The funding, which consisted of $50 million in private equity and a $15.2 million loan,
is planned to be used for the further development of the GX15-0700 used for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia
Dan Giampuzzi, President at Gemin X elaborated on the apoptotic
technology, a technology related to the regulation of the life span of dangerous cancer cells, "Gemin X's mission is to develop
innovative cancer therapeutics that can offer more effective alternatives than existing treatments, and to achieve this mission,
we've developed novel compounds that attack cancer at the heart of the apoptotic pathway. GX15-070 is designed to selectively
induce apoptosis in cancerous cells through pan-inhibition of proteins in the Bcl-2 family, the over-expression of which are
associated with tumor progression and resistance to chemotherapy. Similarly, our GX14 compounds selectively induce apoptosis
in cancerous cells despite mutations in the p53 pathway that often decrease the effectiveness of traditional therapies. This
financing provides Gemin X with the means to fully concentrate on evaluating the potential clinical benefits of these compounds."
Leading the round was the H.I.G. group of funds and the Sanderling
group of funds led the financing, with participation from Merlin BioMed Group, Pinnacle Biotech Ventures Fund and all of the
company's current investors. The loan is through Investissement Quebec's Biolevier Program, which is a government program
to promote the commercialization of life science technology.
Robert McNeil, Ph.D., General Partner of Sanderling Ventures explained
Gemin's technology in basic terms, "Many companies are trying to address cancer. Gemin X is one company that has been fortunate
enough to have discovered small molecules which inhibit the key proteins that keep cancer cells alive. Inhibiting survival
and thus driving cancer into its natural cell death pathway is a central goal of cancer research. Sanderling is proud to have
the opportunity to work with such innovative research and commercialization prospects."
MAY 20th, 2005
Tessera Announces Blood Test -To Detect Prostrate Tumors
Tessera Inc., based in Seattle, has announced plans to begin clinical trials on EPCA (Early Prostate
Cancer Antigen), its blood test for prostrate cancer by years' end. Development work as well as a study on the blood test's
accuracy, was performed by Dr. Robert Getzenberg, Director of the Brady Urological Research Institute at Johns Hopkins University.
In that study, published in the May 15, 2005 issue of Cancer Research, the EPCA protein was measured across a range of individuals
- from the healthy to those afflicted with a number of health problems, which included prostrate as well as a number of different
types of cancer.
Dr. Getzenberg summed up the results of the study, "This new blood
test (EPCA), when coupled with PSA screening, may help reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies and undetected prostate tumors.
In addition to being highly sensitive to prostate cancer, the EPCA blood test is also very specific to it, meaning that other
cancers and benign prostate conditions are not detected, thus boosting doctors' confidence that a positive EPCA test is really
a sign of prostate cancer." Dr. Getzenberg also elaborated on the goals of the study, "Our ultimate objective is to differentiate
between aggressive and non-aggressive forms of prostate and colon cancer. Through our collaboration with Tessera over the
past three years, we are making significant progress toward the achievement of this important goal."
MAY 19th, 2005
Montigen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a company engaged in the development
of molecular inhibitors for the treatment of cancer, announced that it has closed $5.2 million in Series A financing. Montigen
has developed two inhibitors, MP-470, a small molecule tyrosine-kinase inhibitor, and MP-235, a small molecule inhibitor of
According to David Bearss, Chief Scientific Officer at Montigen,
the funding would be used for pre-clinical drug development, "This funding enables us to complete pre-clinical development
of MP-470, and further advance MP-235. In parallel we will continue to progress our internal development technologies and
robust pipeline, focusing on the optimization of additional small molecule inhibitors discovered by Montigen scientists."
Aurora-A kinase, as Montigen reports, is a gene amplified in most
human cancer cells.
MAY 18th, 2005
Epigenomics AG (Frankfurt, Prime Standard: ECX) reports that its
proprietary DNA methylation markers are to be used in a test to determine the response of patients to chemotherapy. The marker,
used in the test, PITX2, is expected to eliminate chemotherapy as therapy for about 50 percent of breast cancer patients.
The company indicates that many patients can avoid the often very unpleasant experience of chemotherapy with just endocrine
Alexander Olek Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Epigenomics commented
on data from a study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology and its own studies, "The results of these studies
are a major step forward for the team at Epigenomics and our clinical collaborators. Together with our previous studies, we
have now confirmed the strong correlation of PITX2 with disease recurrence in over 1000 breast patients from four different
studies. Due to the excellent clinical performance in all studies we have conducted so far and the fact that the marker can
be reliably measured in paraffin-embedded tissue, we are confident that our tissue-based tests incorporating these and other
specific DNA methylation markers will become a very valuable tools for oncologists to help them guide adjuvant therapy with
tamoxifen and potentially other endocrine based therapies, and/or chemotherapy in breast cancer."
Epigenomics also pointed to a study in the journal Cancer Research.
In that study, the company states "DNA methylation markers are also strong outcome predictors in patients treated with tamoxifen
for advanced disease." In that study microarray based technology was used " to determine the DNA methylation status of 117
candidate genes in a cohort of 200 steroid hormone receptor-positive tumors of patients who received tamoxifen as first-line
treatment for recurrent breast cancer."
MAY 18th, 2005
Cell Genesys Reports on Data for Leukemia Vaccine
Cell Genesys, Inc. (NASDAQ: CEGE) reported that follow-up trial results related to Phase 2
trial of the GVAX vaccine for acute myleogenous leukemia were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Ivan Borrello from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland presented the information.
Joseph J. Vallner, Ph.D., President at Cell Genesys commented on
the report, "We are encouraged by the results of our ongoing Phase 2 study of GVAX vaccine in acute leukemia, particularly
the observed correlation between vaccine-associated immune response, WT-1 response and relapse-free survival. We believe that
GVAX vaccine for leukemia represents a potential new treatment option for acute leukemia that may be particularly important
to consider for elderly patients and patients for whom bone marrow transplantation is not readily available or indicated."
According to Cell Genesys, the treatment involved "autologous bone
marrow stem cell transplantation and GVAX vaccine for leukemia."
MAY 18th, 2005
Lilly Announces Toxicity Data Presented on Gemzar-Based
Breast Cancer Treatment
Eli Lilly and Company has reported that results of a Phase III clinical trial of Gemzar (gercitabine,
HCI) and Taxotere (docetaxel) were presented at the 41st annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO.
The study examined the use of the two drugs in combination to treat metastatic breast cancer. The results revealed that the
treatment had similar efficacy, but with an improved safety profile than another treatment based on Xeloda (capecitabine).
Lilly indicated that the study revealed that the Gemzar combination was just as effective in increasing progression free survival
time and tumor response rate, but with fewer toxic side effects.
According to Stephen Chan, M.D., Consultant Oncologist, Nottingham
City Hospital, United Kingdom and a primary investigator in the study , "Treatment-related side effects can be severely debilitating
for women with metastatic breast cancer and have a tremendous impact on their quality of life. The combination of efficacy
and improved tolerability seen in this study with Gemzar/docetaxel suggests that we've taken an important step forward where
we can treat the cancer while helping women live their everyday lives more comfortably and with less risk of side effects."
MAY 9th, 2005
Strawberry Association Reports Phytonutrient Linked to Cancer Cell Destruction
Quercetion, a phytonutrient found in strawberries, has been reported
to assist "apoptosis" , the process by which the body rids itself of damaged cells, such as cancer cells. The study, published
in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, was reiterated by the California Strawberry Association. In its account,
the association indicated that quercetion resulted in a reduction in cell viability after 18 hours of treatment in a study
that involved human liver cancer cells. The study also showed that quercetion was also the most active polyphenol of the pure
MAY 9th, 2005
Celator Pharmaceuticals Brings in Record Funding of $40
Celator Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on cancer therapies, has
closed a $40 million round of financing. The funding, which is said to be one of the largest in the industry in the last twelve
months, will go towards research related to Celator's CombiPlex technology platform. That platform is one of the first to
utilize the ideal ratios of chemotherapy agents to treat cancer. According to Dr. Andrew Janoff, CEO at Celator, "Most cancers
are treated with combinations of drugs. Our research has shown that the current standard used to develop these regimens is
far less than optimal because it does not recognize the critical role that drug ratios play in targeting and killing cancer
cells. Celator's CombiPlex technology platform positions us to develop an entirely new generation of cancer therapies that
will incorporate the ideal ratios of chemotherapy agents and make it possible to maintain those ratios in the body to treat
cancer more effectively."
Celator's lead product, called CPX-1, for colorectal cancer is undergoing
Phase I trials at the British Columbia Cancer Agency in Vancouver and at McGill University in Montreal. CPX-351, a treatment
for acute myeloid leukemia, is in development at the company.
MAY 3rd, 2005
Maxim Pharmaceuticals Receives $1 Million Milestone -
High Throughput Screening System Pointed To
Maxim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAXM) (SSE:MAXM) reported that
it had achieved a $1 million development milestone under an agreement with Myriad Genetics. The milestone centers around the
safety and pharmacokinetic profile of MPC-6827, Maxim's tumor drug. Larry G. Stambaugh, Maxim's CEO indicated the direction
of the company and revealed the compound screening rate of the company's screening system, "We are very pleased with Myriad's
progress in the MPC-6827 program and look forward to the Phase 1 study results. In the meantime we are continuing our efforts
to advance other anti-cancer compounds into the clinic, either independently or through additional partnerships, over the
next 12 to 18 months. Further, we have recently initiated a new campaign to screen about 60,000 new compounds using our proprietary
caspase-3 screening technology, and we hope to discover new lead candidates and molecular targets that hold similar innovative
promise as oncology drugs."
Maxim points out that its methodology is to trigger cancer cell
death through a naturally occurring process called apoptosis.
APRIL 21st, 2005
GenoMed, Inc. (Pink Sheets: GMED), a company that focuses on disease
management, announced that it has developed the Healthchip used to diagnose the most common types of cancers. The company
says that its own tests have shown that the Healthchip correctly identifies the type of cancer in 85 percent of all cases.
The chip, for example, examines a DNA sample for mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and indicates breast cancer if the
mutated genes are found. The company finds that its Healthchip has even higher accurately ratings for certain categories
of women – such as Caucasian, Dr. David Moskowitz, CEO of GenoMed, commented on the accuracy and false positives,
"It's important for any screening test to have as few false positives as possible. GenoMed's Healthchip currently has none."
The company says that tests for BRAC1 and BRAC2 mutations cost in the
order of $1200.00, but are for research purposes only.