The Mechanics Of Melanoma

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

Spectrum Of Therapies Melanoma accounts for less than 1% of skin cancer cases yet causes the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. If detected early enough, melanoma is almost always curable. If not, its ability to metastasize makes it difficult to treat. Melanoma is more common in young adults than many other types of cancer, with 25% of new cases occurring in people under age … Read More

Cancer Vaccines & Game Changers

Emily BurkeBiologics, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Drug Development, Drug Targets, Genomics, Mechanism of Action, Term of the Week

The Elusive Cancer Vaccine The promise of cancer vaccines have proven to be elusive. A new crop of biotechs are hoping to change that by taking advantage of the latest advances in genomics. Scientists are working overtime trying to develop cancer vaccines that train the immune system to recognize and fight an established tumor. In this WEEKLY, we’ll break down the science … Read More

Catching The First Drop Of Cancer

Emily BurkeCancer, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Diagnostics, FDA, Monoclonal Antibodies, Ribonucleic Acid (RNA), Term of the Week, The WEEKLY

The Latest In Cancer Diagnostics Hearing the words “it might be cancer” paired with your doctor’s perplexed look is enough to send shockwaves through your body. Getting to the heart of a diagnosis usually requires a surgical biopsy—removal and examination of the suspected tissue for visible signs of cancer. Less invasive diagnostic tests—called liquid biopsies—might just bring more choices to … Read More

Cancer Immunotherapy Goes Viral

Emily BurkeBiologics, Cancer, Drug Approvals, Drug Targets, FDA, Mechanism of Action, The WEEKLY

Oncolytic Viruses Make Their Debut Does a virus engineered to harness the immune system to fight cancer sound like a clever idea? Amgen (Thousand Oaks, CA) certainly thinks so, because their talimogene laherparepvec (T-Vec) recently earned an FDA approval to fight inoperable melanoma recurrent after initial surgery. Oncolytic viruses—like T-Vec—have the attention of both industry media and mainstream news programs. This new class of therapy is an elegant “hack” of the immune … Read More

Stopping The Hedgehog

Emily BurkeCancer, Clinical Trials, Cocktail Fodder, Drug Approvals, Drug Targets, FDA, Mechanism of Action, Small Molecule Drugs, Term of the Week

Signal Transduction Pathways

The Science Behind The Latest FDA Approval Strong Phase II data launched Novartis’ (Basel, Switzerland) Odomzo to an accelerated FDA approval for basal cell carcinoma last week. The company skipped Phase III testing for the skin cancer drug because 58% of patient’s tumors either shrank or disappeared in Phase II. Odomzo is approved for patients whose basa l cell carcinoma has returned after surgery … Read More

The Science Behind The Blockbuster Drugs Of Tomorrow

Emily BurkeBiologics, Business of Biotech, Cardiovascular Disease, Clinical Trials, Drug Approvals, Drug Targets, Easily Confused, FDA, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Small Molecule Drugs, The WEEKLY

Billion Dollar Mechanisms Of Action The Most Promising Drugs of 2015—a Thomson Reuters Cortellis Competitive Intelligence report—includes several new drugs with predicted sales of $1 billion plus by 2019. Those on the list are well on their way to winning or have recently won FDA approval and the fervor around their potential has caught the biotech world by storm. While stock gurus are passing … Read More

First-in-Class: 2014 Drug Approvals

Emily BurkeBiologics, Cancer, Drug Approvals, Drug Targets, FDA, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, The WEEKLY

The FDA ushered in six new drugs just before the close of 2014, bringing the final tally to 41– the highest rate since 1996, when the agency approved 53 drugs. 2014 drug approvals were notable not only for their quantity, but also their quality. A number of new drugs utilized first-in-class mechanisms, and new pathways always put a skip in … Read More

Biotech’s Battlefront: Monoclonal Antibodies

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Cancer, Drug Targets, FDA, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, Orphan Drugs, The WEEKLY

Since their premier on the scene, monoclonal antibodies (mAb) have demanded top billing on the biotech marquee, creating a cast of therapeutics used to treat diseases like autoimmune disorders and cancer. The first player debuted in 1986 when Janssen-Cilag’s OKT3 gained FDA approval to treat transplant rejection patients. Fast forward to 2013, where half of the top ten best selling … Read More

Playing Detective With Checkpoint Therapies

Emily BurkeCancer, Clinical Trials, Cocktail Fodder, Drug Development, Drug Targets, HIV, Mechanism of Action, Term of the Week, The WEEKLY

PLAYING DETECTIVE WITH CHECKPOINT THERAPIES Over the past two weeks, we have discussed cancer immunotherapies that involve training T-cells (the detective warriors of our immune system) into seeking and destroying cancer cells. This week, we will take a look into another approach that has been creating a lot of recent excitement: checkpoint inhibitor drugs. Simply put, investigators believe they have … Read More

Sci Fi Science: Cool In Movies, Cooler In Clinic

Emily BurkeThe WEEKLY

PRIMED TO BEAT PROSTATE CANCER We usually associate vaccines with infectious disease—measles, mumps, and polio. This 20th century miracle of medicine is being rolled out again, but this time with a 21st century mission: target cancer. In this week’s issue, we will continue our discussion of immunotherapies by focusing on two cancer vaccine technologies that could be straight out of an … Read More