A pair of biotechs will proceed with cancer vaccine studies thanks to recent recommendations from data-monitoring committees. Their announcements drew mixed results from investors, with Northwest Biotherapeutics' shares soaring and NewLink Genetics' sinking. But as they forge ahead, both companies will have to shake off the looming specters of failed cancer vaccine trials past.
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.
Bethesda, MD's Northwest Biotherapeutics has watched as rivals Dendreon and ImmunoCellular have run into serious roadblocks with personalized cancer vaccines over the past year, but with a major Phase III study underway, the biotech believes it can change the narrative.
Should Avastin really join the small set of tools in the brain-cancer toolbox? With studies offering conflicting results, Roche and some outside researchers may share data to answer that question.
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.
ImmunoCellular Therapeutics put out the word Wednesday afternoon that its dendritic cell-based vaccine for brain cancer flunked the key overall survival test in Phase II, news that swiftly wiped out more than half of the small biotech's market cap as shares instantly cratered.
Researchers have come up with an affordable, quick and accurate way to diagnose brain cancer in a fraction of the time that current technology allows. The early results are promising enough that they've patented their new approach.
A team of researchers from Nottingham University in the U.K. have repurposed a bone-healing polymer to achieve something very different: delivery of cancer drugs to tumors in the brain after surgery.
The outlook for young patients diagnosed with medulloblastoma is grim. The highly malignant brain tumor mostly affects children, and treatments are aggressive, often leaving patients with severe side effects, such as lowered IQ levels and increased susceptibility to other cancers.
Researchers at Penn State University have developed microcapsules to deliver brain cancer drugs in a targeted and controlled way--and the consistently uniform particles would be easy to manufacture, they say.