The Indian government is negotiating with GlaxoSmithKline and Merck to secure a low-cost supply of human papillomavirus vaccines
The reasons for low uptake of HPV vaccines have been well researched and widely discussed by academia and government agencies, yet this knowledge has done nothing to increase adoption. Now, the President's Cancer Panel has weighed in to give momentum to a public health campaign it views as a "profound opportunity" to prevent cancer.
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.
Although recent products have given prostate cancer patients more treatment options, the American Cancer Society still estimates that almost 30,000 men died of the disease last year. This week virtual drug developer Madison Vaccines raised $8 million to further its ambitions to cut that figure.
While Dendreon fell well short of serving as a good example of how cancer vaccine businesses can succeed on the public markets, it did at least provide a horrible warning of what can go wrong. Argos Therapeutics is undeterred though and has revived its IPO plans.
Agenus has fallen a long way since its stock briefly traded for $300 a share in 2000. The failure of its partner GlaxoSmithKline's cancer vaccine in September sent the stock tumbling 23% to $2.84 and it continued to drop in the following months. Now though, Agenus has good news to report.
In the latest round of layoffs, Dendron plans to save $125 million in operating expenses by cutting its headcount by 15%. Around 150 full-time employees are set to lose their jobs over the next nine months as Dendreon cuts its R&D and marketing budgets in a bid to achieve profitability.
While half of U.S. teenage girls receive one dose of human papillomavirus vaccine, far fewer come back to complete the regimen. What is less clear is whether one dose offers any protection, but a new study offers some hope.
A competitor is threatening to chip away at sales of Merck's human papillomavirus vaccine Gardasil. Fortunately for Merck, it is the company developing the rival.
The interest in vaccine deals stems from a belief that tweaking the immune system can have a major impact on cancer care.