Non-profit takes reins of AZ cancer program; New bill backs federal ESC funding;

Cancer Research

The non-profit Cancer Research UK will push one of AstraZeneca's cancer therapies into the clinic, taking a lead role in hopes of finding evidence to suggest that the drug candidate has the potential to emerge as a significant new weapon to fight cancer. Forging ahead where pharma companies may be reluctant to commit their resources, Cancer Research UK says it will undertake the 60-person study for AZD-3965 and hand it back to AstraZeneca if it opts to actively retake control of the program. If AZ decides against exercising its option on the drug, the charity group will have the right to find a new licensee. Story

Stem Cell Research

Outgoing Senator Arlen Specter has introduced a bill that legalizes federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. The senator said he wanted to supersede a federal judge's ruling that freezes federal support for the field. Report

The recent controversy over ESC funding has helped revive a focus on the therapeutic potential of stem cells obtained from umbilical cord blood. Story

Amorcyte says it obtained a new patent that will help it pursue new stem cell therapies for vascular damage triggered by a heart attack. Report

Advanced Cell Technology says that it is expanding its patent portfolio for its retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cell programs. ACT release

Genetics

A treatment-resistant form of ovarian cancer is often triggered by two genetic mutations, according to two separate teams of researchers. And their work points to new, personalized therapies to treat the lethal disease. Story

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