Cancer vaccine developers have seen their fair share of disappointments, and failures have spurred some companies to test their treatments in smaller patient subpopulations. Now, researchers are narrowing their focus even further as they gear up to trial personalized cancer vaccines.
Back in May, Johnson & Johnson's Janssen and California-based Aduro Biotech inked a $365 million deal centered on the former's vaccine technology as a treatment for prostate cancer. But J&J is convinced Aduro's platform has the potential to bolster its oncology pipeline in other areas, too.
When John Vansteenkiste of Belgium University Hospitals Leuven reported the full results of GlaxoSmithKline's MAGE-A3 failure at the European Society of Medical Oncology's annual congress last weekend, he wasn't the first to outline a cancer vaccine flop. But he did offer a way out from under the dark cloud hanging over the field, and it's one that some cancer vaccine makers are already embracing.
CureVac has made its second notable deal with Big Pharma this year, this time partnering with Boehringer Ingelheim to offer its investigational lung cancer vaccine in a $45 million deal with potential milestone payments of up to $556 million.
Asterias Biotherapeutics, a subsidiary of California-based BioTime, is teaming up with nonprofit Cancer Research UK to trial an immunotherapy vaccine to treat patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
After a failed attempt to revive its late-stage program for Stimuvax, Merck KGaA is once again throwing in the towel on the cancer vaccine. The German company's biopharma division will cut its two monotherapy studies in the wake of another recent trial failure in Japan, it said late last week.
A new breast cancer vaccine tested in a clinical trial at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center boosted survival rates in patients with elevated levels of a protein associated with cancer growth, a new study shows.
Back in June, Amgen said it was eyeing a U.S. application for its cancer-fighting viral vaccine in the short term but would be looking outside the U.S. as well. After submitting its candidate to the FDA in July, the company now says it's turned over a marketing authorization application to the European Medicines Agency for the melanoma candidate.
Just over a month after striking an immunotherapy pact with AstraZeneca, New Jersey biotech Advaxis is back with another Big Pharma agreement. This time, the company will be teaming up with Merck to test its cancer vaccine, ADXS-PSA, in combination with the latter's checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab.
Frederick, MD-based Vaccinogen has scored $10 million to fund work on its colon cancer candidate, OncoVax.