Bavarian Nordic makes most of its money from its smallpox business, but it is working to expand its reach with moves in the cancer vaccine arena. Toward that end, the Danish company announced on Tuesday the results from a National Cancer Institute-sponsored Phase I study of its new cancer vaccine candidate, MVA-BN Brachyury.
Moderna Therapeutics is launching the third new personalized cancer vaccine venture in as many weeks, spinning out its messenger RNA tech into a separate entity dubbed Caperna.
This morning a group of marquee venture backers put up $102 million to bankroll a startup--Gritstone Oncology--that plans to develop personalized cancer vaccines that can specifically spur an immune system assault on antigens that are created by tumors.
AstraZeneca's big MedImmune subsidiary has nailed down its third pact in 5 days, inking a collaboration with Inovio Pharmaceuticals on a cancer vaccine designed to generate a tumor-specific T cell response. MedImmune is handing over a $27.5 million upfront and up to $700 million in milestones for the deal while agreeing to also cover the research tab.
As it works to bring its prostate cancer vaccine Prostvac to market and expand its smallpox vaccine business, Danish vaccine maker Bavarian Nordic encountered a new set of challenges this week. Despite a billion-dollar partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb, it's is the target of a short-selling campaign.
Though cancer vaccines have seen limited success and late-stage clinical failures in recent years, a new report by Infiniti Research suggests they're here to stay and will begin taking off in a big way.
A couple of years ago, as Vical struggled to overcome a Phase III flop for its cancer vaccine, the biotech said it would hustle ahead with a Phase I/II study of a herpes vaccine as part of its strategy to calm jittery investors. But after the markets closed Monday, the San Diego-based company was forced to concede that their herpes strategy had misfired as well, with their vaccine failing to perform as well as a placebo.
While the FDA deliberates whether to approve Amgen's melanoma-fighting vaccine, T-Vec, as a monotherapy, the California biotech is partnering with Merck to test T-Vec in combination with the PD-1 drug, Keytruda, in patients with head and neck cancer.
Celldex has added another round of positive data demonstrating that its brain cancer vaccine rindopepimut--more formally called Rintega and less formally "rindo"--provided a clear though relatively modest average survival benefit for recurrent glioblastoma patients in a Phase II study. And with the initial data set from Phase III looming later in the year, the biotech is carefully moving forward with its ongoing dialogue with regulators to gauge just how receptive they may be to speeding up an approval.
Australian biotech Regeneus is set to become the latest company to brave moving a personalized cancer vaccine into the clinic. The company picked up clearance from an ethics committee this week, clearing the last remaining obstacle between it and the start of an early-phase study.