In 2011, Amgen splashed out an initial $425 million to buy BioVex and its cancer vaccine in what analysts described as a "high risk, high reward" deal. A little more than three years later Amgen is close to finding out if the bet has paid off, and the latest data is encouraging.
The cost-effectiveness agency recommended that Bristol-Myers Squibb's widely embraced Yervoy (ipilimumab) should not be used as a first-line treatment for melanoma. The agency does recommend the drug for second-line treatment, but says BMS needs to do more clinical trials to prove its "clinical effectiveness" for earlier use.
GlaxoSmithKline's MAGE-A3 cancer vaccine was viewed as a long shot by some analysts even before it missed its first co-primary endpoint last year. Yet while analysts lowered expectations in the wake of the weak data in melanoma patients, GSK is continuing to promote its prospects.
Troubled Mela Sciences is raising $12.45 million in a bid to fuel a relaunch of its skin-cancer diagnostic device plus additional clinical trials.
GlaxoSmithKline wanted a dynamic-duo designation for its two new melanoma drugs, Tafinlar and Mekinist. And now, the FDA has come through. The agency approved the two targeted treatments for use in tandem, in patients with particular genetic mutations.
Researchers at Vanderbilt University have discovered promising drug targets for previously hard-to-treat kinds of melanoma, suggesting that some cancers believed not to have such targets actually do.
After continuing to lose money in its fiscal 2013 third quarter, Trovagene insists it is poised to start generating revenue and results through new licensing, R&D partnerships and the launch of a precedent-setting urine-based cancer mutation-monitoring test.
For the third time this fall, Myriad Genetics is rolling out a new diagnostic product. This time, it's a melanoma skin biopsy test debuting first with a phased U.S. rollout and then in "key European markets" beginning in early 2014.
Scientists have found a new biomarker that can predict whether BRAF-mutant melanomas respond to drugs targeting BRAF, a discovery that could help better tailor treatment therapies for patients with these cancers.
In preclinical studies, a small-molecule inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK) 4/6 being developed by Novartis Oncology, called LEE011, showed upbeat results in drug-resistant melanoma and drug-resistant breast cancer when tested in combination with other targeted therapies.