Though the cancer vaccine field has seen more setbacks than successes, some companies are forging ahead with ambitious plans to push their therapeutics toward regulatory approval.
After scooping up an initial €12 million in October and a partnering pact with Roche in November, Germany's immatics has received an additional €22 million ($29.8 million) to wrap up a Series D financing round.
Agenus' vaccine for a deadly form of brain cancer helped extend patients' lives in a single-arm study, the company said, news that sent its shares up as much as 20% on hopes it can find a partner to help it into Phase III.
CHICAGO--Amgen's big Phase III effort on the viral cancer vaccine talimogene laherparepvec may have fallen just shy of hitting the mark for a key metric on overall survival, but after hitting the primary goal on durable response rates for patients with melanoma, the big biotech says it plans to move ahead and seek an approval to start selling the treatment. And investigators here at ASCO have also begun to add some new data to back up its potential as a combination cancer therapy.
Johnson & Johnson's busy deal team in California has nailed down another development pact--this time zeroing in on new technology at a Berkeley biotech that will be used to expand its considerable efforts on prostate cancer R&D.
Just days after announcing that investigators had red-flagged a high-profile Phase III study of the cancer vaccine MAGE-A3 after failing to hit two primary endpoints for non-small cell lung cancer, GlaxoSmithKline has decided to bring a last-stab effort to find a subpopulation of patients who could benefit from the therapy to a halt. GSK says it was not possible to find a genetically defined group of patients who responded.
Once a top Phase III program at the pharma giant, MAGE-A3 failed to hit a pair of primary endpoints for non-small cell lung cancer, its second failure since the melanoma flop that occurred in the first hurdle of the study reported last fall.
A new round of late-stage data on Amgen's cancer-fighting viral vaccine talimogene laherparepvec, better known as T-Vec, found that about two-thirds of the tumors injected with T-Vec shrank 50% or more. And the same effect was seen in about a third of all uninjected tumors in the skin and lymph nodes, providing an indication that the treatment is triggering the desired immune system effect.
Northwest Biotherapeutics announced that German health regulators have OK'd a special hospital exemption that allows the sale of its controversial--and unproven--dendritic vaccine for brain cancer for all glioma brain cancers.
After an interim analysis, NewLink Genetics is planning to keep on keeping on with a Phase III study of its cancer vaccine. But that news came as an apparent disappointment to investors, who hoped the drug's promise would result in an early trial termination, and the biotech's shares fell more than 12% on Friday morning.