Quantcast

Industry news that matters to you.  Learn more

Venaxis’ APPY1 Test Passes Futility Analysis in Pivotal Clinical Study

Venaxis, Inc. (Nasdaq: APPY), an in vitro diagnostic company focused on obtaining FDA clearance and commercializing its CE Marked APPY1 Test, a rapid, multiple biomarker-based assay for identifying patients that are at low risk for appendicitis, recently announced that the external Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) created as part of the Company’s pivotal clinical trial for the APPY1 Test has recommended continuation of the pivotal clinical trial, based upon completion of the first of two futility analyses included in the clinical trial design. Venaxis will host a conference call and webcast tomorrow morning, July 16, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. ET, to discuss the DSMB’s recommendation and to provide a general corporate update.

As Michael J. Fox Returns to Primetime, His Research Foundation Urgently Pursues the Cure for Parkinson’s

Last month, Michael J. Fox returned to television as the star of his own sitcom after more than two decades living with Parkinson’s disease. Fox’s decision to return to primetime has injected Parkinson’s into the national conversation — a conversation already transformed by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF), which the actor launched in 2000 with the exclusive goal of funding research to speed a cure for the disease.

Analysis Published In New England Journal of Medicine Highlights Discovery of New Predictive Biomarkers for Vectibix (Panitumumab)

Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) recently announced the publication of a biomarker analysis of Vectibix® (panitumumab) in combination with FOLFOX, a type of oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy, for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the analysis found that RAS mutations, beyond the known KRAS exon 2 mutations, predict lack of response to Vectibix in combination with FOLFOX. RAS mutations are mutations occurring in exons 2, 3 and 4 of KRAS and NRAS.

Better Diagnosis of Acute Heart Failure Using Pronota’s Novel Biomarker

Two independent validation studies demonstrate that Pronota’s biomarker CD146 significantly improves the diagnosis of acute heart failure for patients with shortness of breath. The biomarker, measured in blood, provides clinicians with unique additional information allowing better treatment of this challenging group of patients.

Current diagnosis for acute heart failure is limited

Current clinical practice for triaging patients with shortness of breath includes the measurement of specific peptides (B-type natriuretic peptides: BNP or NT-proBNP). Despite the widespread use of these biomarkers, there is still much room for improvement. “Natriuretic peptides have become standard tools to support making the correct diagnosis in patients with shortness of breath. However, clinicians clearly recognize the limitations of natriuretic peptides. The potential value of another biomarker to improve the diagnostic accuracy of BNP or NT-proBNP is considerable,” commented Prof. J. Januzzi (Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School).

Pronota’s novel heart failure marker for accurate diagnosis

Pronota identified the biomarker CD146 from an unbiased proteomics effort. Its performance has now been confirmed in two independent studies totaling over 500 patients. Prof. A. Mebazaa (INSERM, Paris, France), principal investigator for the validation studies, commented: “It is exciting to see that novel biomarkers with underlying biological processes completely different from currently used biomarkers can still be discovered and validated. This not only provides more insight into the underlying disease mechanism, it also gives the physician tools to improve the management and care of heart failure patients. Pronota’s approach in this respect is unique and has proven to deliver on numerous occasions.”

Launch forecast: 2014

“Data from early verification and marker characterization studies were already highly exciting, but the recent independent validation studies exceeded our expectations and would not have been possible without the support of our network of key opinion leaders in the field” commented Katleen Verleysen, CEO of Pronota NV. “We anticipate launching this product in 2014, so that clinicians may get access to the tools they need to improve the treatment and care of their patients.”

Source: Pronota

AgedBrainSYSBIO, a Medium-scale Research Initiative Against Neurodegenerative Diseases

The AgedBrainSYSBIO project on systems biology of synapse proteins & ageing was officially launched recently in Paris, France. AgedBrainSYSBIO is a European collaborative research project funded by the European Commission under the Health Work Programme of the 7th Framework Programme. This multidisciplinary consortium assembles 14 academic and industrial internationally renowned research teams from Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Israel, United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Ageing is undisputedly a complex process because it affects the deterioration of most (if not all) aspects of life. Cognitive decline is emerging as one of the greatest public health challenges of the old age, with nearly 50% of adults over 85 afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia.

As other chronic and neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s disease develops slowly and gradually; but is distinctive in that it forces patients to endure many years of steadily-lessening contact with others, because of memory loss, difficulty with orientation, loss of language and speaking abilities, judging things and depression amongst numerous other symptoms. In 2013, it is estimated that there are worldly more than 24 million people with Alzheimer’s disease, with 4.6 million new cases each year, which means a new case each 7 seconds. It is thus one of the greatest challenges in public health for modern societies, in terms of costs but also in terms of cause, cure and care. To address all these issues, European Commission-funded research effort is crucial as there are still no curative drugs, with only symptomatic treatment able to delay the disease progression.

Over the last years, Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) have been instrumental to identify genes that mediate genetic risk associated to Late-Onset Alzheimer Diseases (LOAD). These approaches based on the genetic comparison of large cohorts of patients and healthy aged persons, and for which three academic partners have been involved (Inserm U894; Institut Pasteur Lille, University of Antwerpen), have been largely funded by Europe. Additionally, a variety of new sets of data have been built and have delivered the state-of-the art of protein-protein interactions, their localisation in subregions of human neurons and genome-wide transcriptome analysis of human neurons derived from aged patient fibroblasts. In another field, new drosophila and mouse models have been also generated via academic partners involved in European Commission-supported large-scale programmes. Finally, the analysis of genes displaying an accelerated evolution in humans as non-human primates do not display these human-specific neurodegenerative diseases has open interesting research paths. So far however, in spite of a huge amount of data available and existing in vitro and in vivo models, these approaches have not been successfully translated into the clinic separately.

The AgedBrainSYSBIO will take advantage of these large set of data, will cross them to other large-scale ageing databases and will include all of these know-how, technologies and results. Thanks to the involvement of four European SMEs, this program is expected to get results readily translated into preclinical studies.

AgedBrainSYSBIO project assembles 13 well-established research teams both from academia and industry. The scientists will share results and know how on LOAD GWAS gene discovery, comparative functional genomics in mouse and drosophila models, in mouse transgenic approaches research on human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) and their differentiation in vitro and modelling pathways with emphasis on comparative and evolutionary aspects. Importantly, the four European SMEs involved will bring their complementary expertise. QURETEC (Estonia) will be a key partner for data management solutions and bioinformatics data analyses; HYBRIGENICS (France) is a world leader in comparative proteomics and protein-protein interaction analyses; GENEBRIDGES (Germany) is marketing novel strategies for DNA engineering in mammalian cells; reMYND (Belgium) is a leader for development of protein misfolding-modifying treatments against LOAD .

Together, researchers will address the basis of brain ageing by studying the pathways involved in Late-Onset Alzheimer Diseases combining integrative systems biology and comparative genomics. One of the first steps will be to identify the interactions through which the ageing phenotype develops in normal and in disease conditions; on this basis, novel pathways and their evolutionary properties will be modelled and experimentally tested in order to identify druggable targets. This work will finally allow the validation of new druggable targets and markers as a proof-of-concept towards the prevention and cure of aging cognitive defects.

Michel Simonneau, MD PhD, Professor at Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan, who coordinates this effort states that “this ambitious project integrates the numerous European initiatives, such as JPND , as well as national research programmes, which addresse the scientific and societal challenge of neurodegenerative diseases. This project receives the decisive input of 4 small to medium size enterprises (SMEs) that allow us to get candidate solutions for curing and preventing common age-related diseases. The links between academia and industry is the driving force of this work programme and in the end will hopefully benefit to all of us.”

Source: EurekAlert!