Killing Cancer At Its Stem Cell Origin

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

Killing Cancer When it comes to killing cancer, eradicating every single cell is the goal. But did you know there are different kinds of cancer cells? One specific type, called cancer stem cells (CSC), is catching the eye of drug developers. Discovered more than a decade ago, CSCs are hypothesized to be the drivers of cancer growth and metastasis. Let’s … Read More

On A Tumor’s Turf

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

TACKLING THE SPACE AROUND SOLID TUMORS Covering the science behind T-cell-based immunotherapies has been the name of the game for our past couple of issues. CAR-T and TCR therapies show significant promise in early phase blood cancer clinical trials, but what about solid tumors? Previously mentioned Juno Therapeutics’ (Seattle, WA) Armored CAR technology has declared war on tumors, and as you will read … Read More

Next-Generation CAR-T

Emily BurkeBiologics, Business of Biotech, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Genomics, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, The WEEKLY

The Race Is On Our last WEEKLY—Hacking the Immune Response—unveiled the science behind CAR-T and TCR, two immunotherapies under the microscope of the mainstream press. The well-deserved media attention highlights the ability of these “living drugs” to recognize and obliterate cancers. With all of the early phase clinical success, a few challenges have popped up: • Safety: CAR-T and TCR can … Read More

Hacking The Immune Response

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Cancer, Clinical Trials, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Easily Confused, Monoclonal Antibodies, The WEEKLY

BIOPHARMA’S DARLING Immunotherapy is the current biopharma darling, garnering massive investment and media attention. Ranging from monoclonal antibodies to engineered T-cells, companies are rapidly learning how to harness the power of the immune system to fight disease. There are two general categories of immunotherapies: Activation immunotherapies “turn on” or “turn up” the patient’s own immune response to help fight disease. Suppression immunotherapies suppress the … 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

DARPINS: Pioneers In The Land Of Small Proteins

Emily BurkeBiologics, Biotech Basics, Business of Biotech, Clinical Trials, Drug Development, Drug Targets, Mechanism of Action, Monoclonal Antibodies, The WEEKLY

We continue last week’s trek into the IPO wilderness to explore the technology of Molecular Partners (Zurich, Switzerland). What they are in search of is a new class of small protein therapeutics, referred to by their acronym: DARPins. DARPins inherently share some of the same advantages monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have over small molecule drugs. DARPins go a step further and offer possible … Read More