Point Roberts, WA, New York, NY - February 26, 2014 (Investorideas.com Biotech Newswire) Investorideas.com global news source covering leading sectors including biotech and pharma reports on companies in the sector targeting pancreatic cancer. Companies include NewLink Genetics (NLNK), Sunshine Biopharma Inc. ( OTCBB: SBFM ), Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) and Celgene (NASDAQ::CELG).
According to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network "Pancreatic cancer is currently the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, and is anticipated to become the second by 2020."
In their fact sheet they also note " Pancreatic cancer is one of the nation's deadliest cancers with a five-year relative survival rate of just 6 percent. An estimated 73 percent of patients will die in the first year of diagnosis. In 2014, an estimated 46,420 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the United States, and approximately 39,590 will die from the disease."
Decision Resources (www.decisionresources.com/),one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the pancreatic cancer therapy market will nearly double to $1.3 billion in 2022, owing to the launch and rapid uptake of three high-priced agents-Celgene (NASDAQ::CELG)/Taiho's Abraxane, Onconova Therapeutics/Baxter International/SymBio Pharmaceuticals' Estybon and Merrimack Pharmaceuticals' MM-398 (a novel formulation of irinotecan). Even though these agents do not substantially improve the overall survival of pancreatic cancer patients, they will have a significant impact on current treatment.
The Pharmacor Pancreatic Cancer report also finds that significant commercial reward awaits developers of therapies that are more effective and better tolerated than the FOLFIRINOX regimen in this disease, as the need for efficacious, well-tolerated therapies will remain through 2022.
NewLink Genetics (NASDAQ: NLNK) has been of the top gainers for 2014,gaining over 90%.NewLink's portfolio includes biologic and small molecule immunotherapy product candidates intended to treat a wide range of oncology indications.
Their product, RAlgenpantucel-L is an investigational HyperAcute™ immunotherapy for pancreatic cancer. The product consists of 2 pancreatic cancer cell lines (HAPa-1 and HAPa-2) that have been genetically modified to express alpha-gal carbohydrates on cell surface molecules.1 Upon injection into the patient, the alpha-gal stimulates an immune response against pancreatic cancer-specific antigens in the tumor cell lines. The patient's immune system then targets its own pancreatic cancer cells, destroying them.1 In the adjuvant setting, the immune response targets and eradicates residual tumor cells in conjunction with chemotherapy and chemoradiation.1,2
Algenpantucel-L is currently being studied in combination with standard of care in two phase 3 trials:
Last fall the company reported greater than expected responses to follow-on chemotherapy after treatment with algenpantucel-L or tergenpumatucel-L HyperAcute immunotherapy. Three pancreatic cancer patients were followed for response to subsequent salvage chemotherapy treatment after progressing on algenpantucel-L therapy. All three patients experienced durable (12-36 months), complete responses.
Sunshine Biopharma Inc. ( OTCBB: SBFM ), a pharmaceutical company focused on the research, development and commercialization of drugs for the treatment of various forms of cancer, recently announced that it is targeting pancreatic cancer as second indication for its leading compound, Adva-27a.
As previously announced, Adva-27a was found to be effective at killing Pancreatic Cancer Cells in vitro. Based on initial data, the company is now advancing research using Adva-27a for pancreatic cancer treatment.
The initial study, as reported in June 2013, was carried out in the very aggressive Pancreatic Cancer cell line, Panc-1. Adva-27a was able to kill these cells with an IC50 of less than 4 micromolar, a pharmacologically very favorable drug concentration.
Adva-27a is Sunshine Biopharma's lead anticancer compound, a small molecule that has recently been shown to be effective at killing multidrug resistant breast cancer cells, small-cell lung cancer cells, uterine sarcoma cells and pancreatic cancer cells (Published in ANTICANCER RESEARCH, Volume 32, Pages 4423-4432, October 2012). Adva-27a is currently in the IND-Enabling stage of development. The original U.S. patent covering Adva-27a was issued on August 7, 2012 under US patent number 8,236,935.
The Company also announced that it has initiated the construction of mouse xenograft models for pancreatic cancer as part of the plans of positioning Adva-27a for clinical development for pancreatic cancer in parallel with multidrug resistant breast cancer. The work is being conducted in collaboration with Sunshine Biopharma's parent company, Advanomics Corporation, the co-recipient of $1.45 million in research grants in Canada. As previously announced (see press release dated June 4, 2013), Adva-27a, a Topoisomerase II inhibitor, was found to be effective at destroying cells of the very aggressive pancreatic cancer cell line, Panc-1.
"Conducting tests in pancreatic cancer xenograft models is the next step in our preparations for doing parallel breast cancer and pancreatic cancer clinical trials of Adva-27a," said Dr. Steve N. Slilaty, Chief Executive Officer of Sunshine Biopharma. "Pancreatic cancer is an extremely aggressive form of cancer with essentially no effective treatment options available today. We are heartened by the prospects that Adva-27a could become an effective therapy for patients suffering this deadly form of cancer."
According to Global Industry Analysts, Inc. in their recent report, "Eli Lilly's (LLY:NYSE) Gemzar (Gemcitabine) is the current gold standard of care for locally advanced and metastatic disease, with a dominance that is undisputed despite a median survival of less than 6 months and rate of one-year survival of around 18%, as stated by the new market research report on Pancreatic cancer drugs. Though the odds of survival are somewhat better in other forms of cancer, the rate of five-year survival for the most common form of pancreatic cancer, Adenocarcinoma of the pancreas is less than 5%, with majority of patients surviving just a few months. "
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