Biotech Companies Intensify Research Into New Therapies to Combat Cancer

NEW YORK, March 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Cancer ranks among one of the top causes of death globally and data show that the number is still expected to increase. The National Cancer Institute stated in 2012 there were 14.1 million new cases of cancer and 8.2 million cases of cancer-related deaths. The institute also noted that 57% of new cancers cases in 2012 occurred in less developed regions, despite those regions accounting for 65% of deaths. By 2030, the institute expects the number of new cancer cases to rise up to 23.6 million. The growing number of cases is concerning for many, which has prompted a plethora of biotechnology companies to enter into the marketplace. Industry players are developing new therapies and drugs to treat cancer more effectively, while the most common cancer therapies remain immunotherapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapy. According to data compiled by Allied Market Research, the global cancer therapeutics market was valued at USD 81.29 Billion in 2016 and is estimated to reach USD 178.86 Billion. Furthermore, the market is projected to register a healthy CAGR of 11.9% during the forecast period from 2017 to 2023., Inc. (OTC: SNET), Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NYSE: AST), Genocea Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GNCA), CytRx Corporation (NASDAQ: CYTR), Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc. (OTC: NWBO)

Recently, the industry has seen a large influx of pharmaceutical companies diving into the industry. And in combination with the acceleration of cancer research, the cancer therapeutics market is expected to witness significant growth. Moreover, the growth in the geriatric population is also expected to bolster the market. However, the biggest concern within the industry is still the increasing prices of therapies. Despite these burgeoning costs, certain players are aiming to reduce costs while promoting efficiency, and hopefully, develop a cure. "When I began my career as an oncologist more than 35 years ago, I could not have imagined where we would be today. Cutting-edge, sophisticated technology is allowing doctors to prevent or detect cancer earlier, target treatments more effectively and avoid unnecessary side effects," said Daniel F. Hayes, M.D., Professor of Internal Medicine, the Stuart B. Padnos Professor in Breast Cancer, and the Clinical Director of the Breast Oncology Program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, "These treatment advances are enhanced by expansion of health information technology platforms, new approaches to cancer prevention and screening and a greater emphasis on doctor and patient relationships. Advances in cancer care and treatment over the past 40 years have led to stunning gains. The future of cancer care is here — but we are just getting started.", Inc. (OTC: SNET) announced earlier last week that it, "signed a Letter of Intent to collaborate with NanoSmart Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a California-based company developing novel drug formulations to treat cancer. The collaboration includes co-development and an exclusive, world-wide license for specific formulations to treat cancer utilizing NanoSmart's proprietary 'targeted' drug delivery system that is designed to enhance delivery of drugs to a wide variety of cancer tumors. is excited about the collaboration opportunity because new or already-approved chemotherapy drugs can be reformulated with greater efficacy and safety for treating cancer patients. The company believes that the reformulated drugs, subject to approval by the FDA and/or regional regulatory bodies, may be used as a monotherapy, or as a 'combo-therapy' with SNET's autologous cellular immuno-therapy approach, or with other therapies such as immune check point inhibitors. SNET expects to enter into a full exclusive 'world-wide' licensing and co-development agreement with NanoSmart under the terms of the Letter of Intent signed on February 25th, 2019.

The use of NanoSmart's enhanced drug delivery platform combined with pharmacogenomics and liquid biopsy for personalizing the therapy should augment cancer drug effectiveness and safety, and improve treatment monitoring, according to the company. Currently, SNET is focused on developing its 'core' autologous extracorporeal immuno-therapy device for a durable response.

About, Inc. ("SNET") is a pioneering oncology company dedicated to developing, manufacturing and commercialization of therapeutics. SNET licensed Tulynode's patent pending Autologous Immuno-therapy for durable therapy response using an extracorporeal device. prides itself for having a world-class Advisory Board that keeps the Company leadership in the forefront of developing technologies in cancer research, biotechnology and healthcare. is currently engaging in research and development of therapeutics for oncology. is committed to its core corporate mission and values of highest U.S. Pharma Code of Conduct standards of behavior for being in compliance with the laws, regulations, company directives and guidance."

Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NYSE: AST) is a biotechnology company dedicated to developing cell-based therapeutics to treat neurological conditions associated with demyelination and cellular immunotherapies to treat cancer. Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. recently announced enrollment and dosing of the fourth subject in the first-in-human Phase 1 clinical trial of VAC2 in the United Kingdom. This is the first patient enrolled and dosed at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, UK. This initial clinical trial, which is being sponsored, managed and funded by Cancer Research UK, will examine the safety and tolerability of VAC2 in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) as the study's primary endpoints. Secondary and tertiary endpoints of the study include evaluations of the immunogenicity of VAC2 in NSCLC. "We remain excited about the potential of VAC2 for NSCLC and we are thankful for Cancer Research UK's sponsorship of the clinical trial and look forward to more patients being enrolled at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, as well as at the third trial site that CRUK is planning on opening," commented Michael Mulroy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Asterias.  "The enrollment timeline for this trial remains on track and we are continuing to evaluate further development of VAC2 as a monotherapy or in combination with other therapies in various cancer indications that may benefit from this therapy."

Genocea Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GNCA) mission is to help conquer cancer by designing and delivering targeted cancer vaccines and immunotherapies. Genocea Biosciences, Inc. recently announced the dosing of the first patients in its Phase 1/2a clinical trial testing the safety, immunogenicity, and clinical efficacy of its neoantigen cancer vaccine candidate GEN-009. Genocea also announced that enrollment of patients in the first part of the clinical trial has been completed. "Dosing the first patients with our GEN-009 vaccine represents a significant milestone for Genocea," said Tom Davis, M.D., the Company's Chief Medical Officer. "Importantly, our GEN-009 vaccines use our ATLAS™ platform for neoantigen identification. Unlike machine-based approaches that predict neoantigens and only evaluate the patient's tumor, ATLAS also uses each patient's own immune cells not only to identify true neoantigens that already trigger anti-tumor cytokine responses, but also to eliminate "inhibitory" antigens that are frequently selected for vaccine inclusion by such in silicoapproaches. I am grateful to the patients eager to participate in our trial, to our investigators, and to my colleagues here at Genocea for creating the first vaccine that is genuinely personalized to each individual's T cells and their tumor mutations."

CytRx Corporation (NASDAQ: CYTR) is a biopharmaceutical company with expertise in discovering and developing new therapeutics to treat patients with cancer. CytRx Corporation recently announced that its private, wholly-owned subsidiary Centurion BioPharma Corporation has concluded the pre-clinical phase of its development for its albumin binding ultra high potency LADR™ (Linker Activated Drug Release) drug candidates, LADR-7, LADR-8, LADR-9 and LADR-10, and for its unique albumin companion diagnostic (ACDx). As a result of completing this work, operations taking place at the pre-clinical laboratory located in Freiburg, Germany will no longer be needed. "Our investment in the Freiburg pre-clinical laboratory has yielded a platform of personalized medicine assets, including a highly unique companion diagnostic for use alongside four albumin binding drug conjugates," said Eric Curtis, CytRx's President and Chief Operating Officer.  "The world-class pre-clinical team has achieved the critical steps and each of these pipeline assets are now eligible for IND-enabling studies.  As a result of the completion of this project, CytRx will have reduced its cash burn and will utilize its financial resources for other opportunities while we work to secure a strategic transaction for the LADR and ACDx assets, with the goal of executing such a transaction as soon as possible.  The company remains under CDA with several big pharma companies and is continuing discussions regarding a potential partnership."

Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB: NWBO) is a biotechnology company focused on developing personalized immunotherapy products designed to treat cancers more effectively than current treatments, without toxicities of the kind associated with chemotherapies, and on a cost-effective basis, in both North America and Europe. Northwest Biotherapeutics recently announced that updated blinded interim data from the Phase 3 trial of DCVax®-L for Glioblastoma brain cancer were presented by Dr. Linda Liauat the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuro-Oncology. The updated data through October 2018 have continued to mature since the prior interim data collection in March 2017, and indicate encouraging patient survival. Patients are continuing to move through time points based on their length of time in the trial.  All of the patients were past the 1-year time point at the time of the 2017 interim data collection, and most of the patients were past the 2-year time point. The further maturation of the data from March 2017 through October 2018 has provided an opportunity for more patients to reach later time points (3 years and beyond), and enabled a more developed picture of the "long tail" of the survival curve to emerge. The long tail is a key focus with immune therapies. Linda F. Powers, Chief Executive Officer of NWBio commented "We are excited to see how the data are maturing, and we are grateful to our Scientific Advisory Board for their strong advice not to unblind the trial too early.  Had we unblinded earlier, the opportunity to see the fuller extent of patient survival would have been lost, and the potential would never have been known. Until we reach data lock, the data will continue to mature. As we have cautioned before, the data may get either better or worse as they further mature. Also, the interim data are blinded aggregate data, and we do not know the breakdown between the treatment arm and the control arm of the trial."

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