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Biotech Companies Making Strides in Pancreatic Cancer Treatment and Early Detection



USA News Group Commentary Issued on behalf of Oncolytics Biotech Inc.

VANCOUVER, BC, May 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — USA News Group – Hope is rising in the fight against one of the deadliest cancers in the world, as a new study recently claimed that a blood test can accurately detect early-stage pancreatic cancer with 97% accuracy. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, up to 10% of patients who receive an early diagnosis become disease-free after treatment, meaning the earlier it’s detected, the better the patient’s chances to survive. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 66,440 people (34,530 men and 31,910 women) will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the USA this year, projecting about 51,750 people will succumb to the disease. Working diligently behind the scenes, several biotech drug developers are making progress in new treatments, including recent updates from Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (NASDAQ: ONCY) (TSX: ONC), Candel Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CADL), ABVC BioPharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABVC), CytomX Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTMX), and Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN).

Pelareorep, an intravenously delivered immunotherapeutic agent being developed by Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (NASDAQ: ONCY) (TSX: ONC), is gaining momentum as a potential treatment for multiple cancers, especially breast cancer and pancreatic cancer. In late 2022, the FDA granted pelareorep Fast Track Designation for treating pancreatic cancer, following promising clinical results. Now Oncolytics has recently announced a preliminary collaboration with the Global Coalition for Adaptive Research (GCAR), with the purpose of commencing planning activities for the evaluation of pelareorep in the treatment of first-line metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), as part of GCAR’s anticipated master protocol for metastatic pancreatic cancer.

GCAR’s activities are already underway to finalize the seamless Phase 2/3 master protocol design that will evaluate multiple investigational therapies for pancreatic cancer treatment. Thus, the intent of the pelareorep study will be to produce registration-enabling data.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with GCAR and are honored that pelareorep has been selected as the first therapeutic for evaluation in GCAR’s planned adaptive trial in pancreatic cancer patients,” said Dr. Matt Coffey, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oncolytics. “We believe this opportunity presents a strategic and efficient pathway forward for the development of pelareorep to address an urgent need for pancreatic cancer patients. GCAR’s anticipated trial design seeks to cut registrational study time and reduce trial costs, speeding up the journey to potentially deliver effective cancer treatment sooner.”

Oncolytics is also now advancing its lead asset further, having recently received regulatory clearance to evaluate pelareorep in combination with modified FOLFIRINOX +/- Tecentriq (from Roche) in pancreatic cancer in a new cohort from its ongoing GOBLET study, following German regulatory and ethics approvals. The new cohort is bolstered by a US$5 million Therapeutic Accelerator Award from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN), an inventive initiative aimed at rapidly advancing the development of new treatments for pancreatic cancer.

Achieving these positive results from the pelareorep/mFOLFIRINOX combination could greatly elevate Oncolytics’ prospects in tackling pancreatic cancer. Oncolytics has previously reported encouraging data from pelareorep paired with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel. The Oncolytics team believes that if the mFOLFIRINOX combination demonstrates improvements in response rate over historical control trials, this treatment approach could move forward to a registration-enabling study, offering two potential pelareorep-based therapies for pancreatic cancer patients. Additionally, planned translational research studies for this cohort will further explore the understanding of pelareorep’s mechanism of action, including its impact on the tumor microenvironment (TME).

As a part of this evaluation, Oncolytics will examine the relationship between tumor responses and the expansion of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in the blood, an effect noted in previous pancreatic cancer studies. The company plans to start enrolling patients into the mFOLFIRINOX/pelareorep study cohort in Q2 2024.

For Candel Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CADL), the FDA granted Orphan Drug Designation to their leading multimodal biological candidate, CAN-2409, for pancreatic cancer treatment. This recognition came shortly after Candel shared updated overall survival data from its ongoing randomized phase 2 clinical trial of CAN-2409 combined with valacyclovir (prodrug) and standard-of-care chemoradiation, followed by surgery for borderline resectable pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).

“We recently reported data from the phase 2 randomized clinical trial of CAN-2409 in borderline resectable pancreatic cancer, showing that CAN-2409, when added to standard of care, more than doubled the median overall survival obtained with standard of care alone,” said Paul Peter Tak, MD, PhD, FMedSci, President and CEO of Candel. “We are pleased that the FDA has now granted Candel with both Orphan Drug and Fast Track Designation to this program, as we seek to reshape the treatment paradigm in pancreatic cancer.”

Clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company ABVC BioPharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABVC) recently announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with private company OncoX BioPharma, Inc. in its fight against pancreatic cancer. Through its affiliate Rgene Corporation, ABVC and OncoX are set to collaborate on combination therapy the duo believes will help treat pancreatic cancer and improve patient outcomes significantly, with ABVC and Rgene set to receive an aggregate license fee of $12.5 million in cash or shares from OncoX within the next 30 days.

“We are excited to announce this collaboration with OncoX, which represents a significant step forward in our commitment to developing transformative treatments for pancreatic cancer,” said Dr. Uttam Patil, CEO of ABVC. “By combining our strengths, we can make meaningful progress in addressing this devastating disease. The collaboration will draw on ABVC’s portfolio of combination therapies pipeline, which has shown promise in preclinical and early clinical studies.”

Among ABVC’s portfolio is its ABV-1703 (IND 136309) for pancreatic cancer therapy. As part of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for ABV-1703 is the proposal for the clinical investigation of BLEX 404 as a combination therapy drug with chemotherapy. BLEX 404 is made with the active ingredient glucan, which is extracted from Grifola frondose (maitake mushrooms), an edible fungus with high medical and commercial value in Asia.

“This partnership exemplifies our dedication to advancing the field of oncology and bringing hope to patients facing pancreatic cancer,” said Wen-Pin Yen, CEO of OncoX. “Together with ABVC, we are committed to pushing the boundaries of innovation to improve outcomes for patients in need. The two companies aim to deliver a novel treatment option for pancreatic cancer patients by combining their resources, expertise, and innovative approaches.”

Leading drug developer in the field of masked, conditionally activated biologic therapeutics, CytomX Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTMX), recently announced positive initial data from its ongoing CX-904 Phase 1a dose escalation clinical study with its global development partner, Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN). CytomX and Amgen are collaborating on CX-904, a bispecific PROBODY candidate designed to engage T-cells by targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) on cancer cells and the CD3 receptor on T cells.

Within the clinical study results, CX-904 not only demonstrated a favorable safety profile with no cytokine release syndrome, but also presented encouraging initial signs of efficacy observed for CX-904 in advanced pancreatic cancer, including 2 of 6 patients (33%) with a confirmed partial response, and all 6 patients (100%) with disease control.

“We are delighted to share these initial results today for CX-904, a highly innovative masked T-cell engager that embodies our vision at CytomX of transforming lives with safer, more effective therapies,” said Sean McCarthy, D.Phil., CEO and Chairman of CytomX. “These data build on more than a decade of innovation at CytomX, and, we believe, open broad new possibilities for T-cell engagers across many targets and cancer types. We look forward to continuing to explore the potential of this exciting agent in multiple EGFR positive cancers and to determining longer term strategy with our global development partner, Amgen.”

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DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this publication should be considered as personalized financial advice. We are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular financial situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized financial advice. Please consult a licensed financial advisor before making any investment decision. This is a paid advertisement and is neither an offer nor recommendation to buy or sell any security. We hold no investment licenses and are thus neither licensed nor qualified to provide investment advice. The content in this report or email is not provided to any individual with a view toward their individual circumstances. USA News Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Market IQ Media Group, Inc. (“MIQ”). MIQ has been paid a fee for Oncolytics Biotech Inc. advertising and digital media from the company directly. There may be 3rd parties who may have shares of Oncolytics Biotech Inc., and may liquidate their shares which could have a negative effect on the price of the stock. This compensation constitutes a conflict of interest as to our ability to remain objective in our communication regarding the profiled company. Because of this conflict, individuals are strongly encouraged to not use this publication as the basis for any investment decision. The owner/operator of MIQ own shares of Oncolytics Biotech Inc. which were purchased in the open market, and reserve the right to buy and sell, and will buy and sell shares of Oncolytics Biotech Inc. at any time without any further notice commencing immediately and ongoing. We also expect further compensation as an ongoing digital media effort to increase visibility for the company, no further notice will be given, but let this disclaimer serve as notice that all material, including this article, which is disseminated by MIQ has been approved by Oncolytics Biotech Inc.; this is a paid advertisement, we currently own shares of Oncolytics Biotech Inc. and will buy and sell shares of the company in the open market, or through private placements, and/or other investment vehicles.

While all information is believed to be reliable, it is not guaranteed by us to be accurate. Individuals should assume that all information contained in our newsletter is not trustworthy unless verified by their own independent research. Also, because events and circumstances frequently do not occur as expected, there will likely be differences between the any predictions and actual results. Always consult a licensed investment professional before making any investment decision. Be extremely careful, investing in securities carries a high degree of risk; you may likely lose some or all of the investment.

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Teal secures $8M seed funding for groundbreaking accounting solution




Teal has announced a significant milestone in its journey to transform SMB accounting with the closure of an $8 million seed funding round.

According to TechFundingNews, the company, which focuses on providing accounting infrastructure for Vertical SaaS businesses, aims to address the critical need for integrated financial solutions within various platforms.

Founded by industry veterans Ian Crosby and Adam Saint, Teal stands out in the FinTech landscape for its unique approach to accounting services. Leveraging their expertise from founding Bench Accounting and working at Shopify, Crosby and Saint have developed a platform that empowers Vertical SaaS businesses to offer customised accounting suites to their SMB customers.

One of the key challenges faced by SMBs is the lack of seamless accounting solutions integrated into their core business platforms. Teal aims to bridge this gap by equipping companies with the necessary APIs and tools to build their own accounting offerings. This enables SMBs to access crucial insights such as real-time cash flow, per-product profitability, and streamlined tax filing processes.

Teal’s comprehensive suite of out-of-the-box tools enables Vertical SaaS companies to launch their accounting platforms swiftly, often in as little as four weeks. These tools include fully functioning app code repositories and seamless data integrations with external sources like Plaid, enhancing the overall user experience for SMBs.

According to Ian Crosby, Co-Founder and CEO of Teal, the company’s vision is to become the “Stripe for accounting,” providing the foundational infrastructure for Vertical SaaS companies to embed accounting features seamlessly. By integrating accounting software directly into their platforms, businesses can enhance customer engagement and drive adoption of financial services features.

The significance of Teal’s innovative approach has not gone unnoticed in the investment landscape. Torch Capital, a leading investor in tools and platforms for SMBs, led the recent $8 million seed funding round. Partner Katie Reiner expressed enthusiasm for Teal’s mission to revolutionize the SMB accounting space, citing the dire need for intuitive and streamlined accounting tools.

In an era where embedded finance is gaining traction, Teal’s commitment to offering tailored accounting solutions signifies a promising step towards empowering SMBs with the financial tools they need to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.


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Digital China’s Guo Wei Shares ‘China’s Sample’ of Global Digital Innovation with London Business School



LONDON, May 22, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — On May 21st, at the invitation of London Business School (LBS), Guo Wei, Chairman of Digital China, participated in the esteemed “Managing the Digital Organization” lecture, engaging with a cohort of prospective business leaders. Focusing on the trending topics of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ and ‘Digital Transformation’, he imparted the digital philosophy and practices of Chinese enterprises amidst the digital civilization era.

Digital China, a prominent player in China’s digital economy, has harnessed over two decades of deep involvement in the nation’s information industry to embrace the power of digitization. This has culminated in what Guo Wei refers to as ‘China’s Vibrant Blueprint for Digital Transformation’, carving a distinctive path of digital metamorphosis. Notably, Digital China’s transformation narrative has been incorporated into LBS’s esteemed case library, underscoring its significance as a teaching instrument.

In his lecture, Guo Wei emphasized that the digital economy now constitutes the backbone of supply, with digital technology emerging as the paramount catalyst for economic expansion. The hastening pace of global digitization propels us into an epoch of digital civilization. For multinational corporations, digital strategies have escalated to the status of corporate strategy, and the amassing of data assets constitutes the pivotal lever for business innovation. Amidst this evolution, AI-fueled digital-cloud integration signifies a disruptive technological innovation, poised to invigorate the global landscape. Digital China feels honored to reprise its role in elite international business school case repositories, thereby contributing insights to academia. This recognition signifies that Chinese enterprises’ digital and AI acumen resonates globally, exemplifying world-class practices.

Professor Julian Birkinshaw, Vice Dean and Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at LBS, remarked, “As a global institution, we constantly seek out exemplary cases worldwide. Digital China was chosen not solely due to its prominence in China but also its sophisticated implementation of digital technologies, demonstrating adaptability and offering invaluable insights to our students about the contemporary business milieu. The story of Digital China encapsulates Mr. Guo Wei’s philosophy – digitization transcends being a mere process; it embodies the existential rationale for companies. This philosophy underpins our decision to feature Digital China in our case studies.”

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Endava partners with Finexos to revolutionise AI-driven credit risk management




Endava, a leading technology services company combining world-class engineering, industry expertise, and a people-centric mindset, has announced its partnership with Finexos, an AI-powered credit risk and analytics platform.

The partnership aims to leverage Finexos’ state-of-the-art credit risk engine to enhance credit decisioning processes, significantly increasing the accuracy of suitability and affordability calculations for banks and lenders. This collaboration will enable more borrowers to access affordable credit while reducing non-performing loans and improving capital allocation.

Endava, with over 20 years of industry expertise, helps financial institutions position their products and services at the forefront of innovation. Through world-class engineering, Endava supports customers in meeting the demands of responsible lending.

Finexos offers a unique methodology to improve credit decisioning, making it possible for larger volumes of borrowers to access affordable credit. Their advanced AI-powered software helps reduce default risks and improve capital allocation for lenders.

The collaboration allows Endava to integrate Finexos’ AI credit decisioning software into their services, helping financial institutions provide responsible lending solutions. This integration aims to increase accessibility for a broader range of customers and provide a more accurate assessment of borrower risk.

Finexos’ cost-effective data science SaaS platform enriches data analysis, speeds up decisions for borrowers, and reduces costs for lenders. The platform operates without geographical constraints, works within institutions’ firewalls, and ensures data security by not accepting or requiring personally identifiable information (PII).

Endava’s head of alliances and partnerships Lewis Brown said, “The addition of Finexos strengthens Endava’s banking ecosystem with new and existing AI-based software and also brings to our clients new tools that fuel growth and react to new and future regulatory requirements.”

Matthew Williamson, SVP & industry principal at Endava, mentioned, “At Endava, we are delighted to announce our partnership with Finexos, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to financial inclusion. This relationship authentically aligns with our core values, using technology and democratising access to financial instruments. Giving individuals and communities the ability to access fair, consistent next-gen real-time credit scoring. Empowering economic growth and stimulus.”


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