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DDD Update

Daily news and top headlines for drug research professionals

Novartis, Regenerex Partner on Cell Therapies

September 6, 2013 9:05 am | News | Comments

Novartis announced that it has entered into an exclusive global licensing and research collaboration agreement with Regenerex LLC, a biopharmaceutical company based in Louisville, Ky., for use of the company's novel Facilitating Cell Therapy (FCRx) platform.

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AstraZeneca Trials Drug for Mutated Ovarian Cancer

September 6, 2013 8:56 am | News | Comments

AstraZeneca announced enrollment of the first patient in the Phase 3 SOLO trial clinical program for olaparib, an innovative oral poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor being investigated for the treatment of BRCA mutated ovarian cancer. The SOLO 1 study is being conducted in collaboration with the Gynecologic Oncology Group and the SOLO 2 study with the European Network of Gynaecological Oncological Trial Groups.

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Takeda's Vedolizumab Gets Priority Review

September 6, 2013 8:42 am | News | Comments

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. Inc., announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Priority Review status for the Biologics License Application (BLA) for its new investigational drug vedolizumab for the treatment of adults with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis.

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Agenus Falls on MAGE-A3 Trial Failure

September 6, 2013 8:30 am | News | Comments

Shares of Agenus fell sharply Thursday on unsuccessful clinical trial results for a cancer treatment that included its compound that is designed to make drugs more effective. British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline PLC is studying cancer treatments that include Agenus' SQ-21 Stimulon vaccine adjuvant.

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Otsuka Buys Astex for $804M

September 6, 2013 8:30 am | News | Comments

Astex Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Thursday that it reached a deal to sell itself to Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. for about $804.1 million in cash. Under the terms of the agreement, Otsuka will pay $8.50 per share for the Dublin, Calif., drug developer. The price represents a 3 percent premium over Astex's Wednesday closing share price of $8.27.

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Scientists Open Antiviral Drug Path to Herpes

September 5, 2013 2:44 pm | News | Comments

While herpesviruses infect most animals– including humans– with incurable disease, researchers have found a genetic trail to thwart its reproductive powers, cutting its infective powers by a factor of up to 10,000. The technique involves locking up virus DNA inside its viral carriers, reports the new study that opens a much-needed new pathway for antiviral drug development.

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Parkinson’s Linked to Tuberculosis

September 5, 2013 2:35 pm | News | Comments

A protein at the center of Parkinson’s disease research now also has been found to play a key role in causing the destruction of bacteria that cause tuberculosis, according to a research team. The protein, named Parkin, already is the focus of intense investigation in Parkinson’s disease, in which its malfunction is associated with a loss of nerve cells.

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Marker Predicts Response to EGFR Inhibitors

September 5, 2013 2:17 pm | News | Comments

Johns Hopkins scientists have identified a molecular marker called “Mig 6” that appears to accurately predict longer survival- up to two years- among patients prescribed two of the most widely used drugs in a class of anticancer agents called EGFR inhibitors.

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Rigel Cuts Jobs, Ends Drug Programs

September 5, 2013 1:24 pm | News | Comments

Rigel Pharmaceuticals said it will end some of its drug development programs and eliminate about 30 jobs, after its drug fostamatinib didn't work as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Rigel said it wants to concentrate on drugs that are most likely to gain marketing approval in the near future.

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Sanofi Will Sell Pozen Drugs in U.S.

September 5, 2013 1:19 pm | News | Comments

Pozen said that Sanofi will handle U.S. marketing of its experimental cardiovascular drugs PA8140 and PA32540. The French drugmaker will pay Pozen $15 million upfront, and Pozen could get another $20 million in payments based on milestones before approval of the products.

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FDA Accepts Endo's Aveed Application

September 5, 2013 1:15 pm | News | Comments

Endo Health Solutions said that regulators accepted for review new data for its long-acting testosterone injection Aveed and will make a ruling on the drug by Feb. 28. The Food and Drug Administration asked Endo for more information in May.

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Canadian HIV Vaccine Pushes Through Trials

September 5, 2013 9:55 am | News | Comments

A Phase 1 clinical trial (SAV CT 01) of the first and only preventative HIV vaccine based on a genetically modified killed whole virus (SAV001-H) has been successfully completed with no adverse effects in all patients, Western and Sumagen Canada Inc. announced.

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New Review Critiques Personalized Medicine

September 5, 2013 9:49 am | News | Comments

Research into personalized medicine is being led by a University of Greenwich team. Currently, many medicines which are prescribed to patients either do not work properly or have some significant side effects. The aim of personalized medicine, sometimes called precision medicine, is to ensure that the most appropriate medicine is given to each patient and that the medicine is both effective and safe.

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Abbott Test Promising for Heart Attack Diagnoses

September 5, 2013 9:36 am | News | Comments

Abbott announced promising preliminary results from a study presented at the ESC Congress 2013, suggesting that its high sensitive troponin test may help doctors improve the diagnosis and prognosis of patients presenting with symptoms of a heart attack.

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Down Syndrome-Like Deficits Reversed in Mice

September 5, 2013 9:25 am | News | Comments

Researchers have identified a compound that dramatically bolsters learning and memory when given to mice with a Down syndrome-like condition on the day of birth. As they report, the single-dose treatment appears to enable the cerebellum of the rodents’ brains to grow to a normal size.

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