NEWS

Treatment helps control primary tumors and improves overall survival.
October 24

$141 million granted to U.S. investigators for innovative projects with groundbreaking potential.
October 24

Experiments in mice show that combining therapies shrinks tumors and improves survival.
October 16

Pertuzumab–trastuzumab-containing regimen should be standard for HER2-positive breast cancer, says study author.
October 16

Studies solidify evidence for BRAF and MEK inhibitors as standard of care for advanced or metastatic disease.
October 15

Agency aims to phase in a risk-based framework over 9 years.
October 14

1
2
3
4
5
6

RESEARCH WATCH

NSCLC is characterized by branched evolution and pronounced intratumor genomic heterogeneity.
October 23

GADD45β/MKK7 is critical for NFκB-driven survival and is a therapeutic target in multiple myeloma.
October 23

SHH prevents progression to invasive bladder cancer by stimulating urothelial differentiation.
October 23

KLHL9 deletions stabilize C/EBPβ and C/EBPδ and are a causal driver of the mesenchymal GBM subtype.
October 16

Acquired resistance to everolimus in an exceptional responder was associated with an MTOR mutation.
October 16

Epigenetic changes induced by TET1-mediated 5hmC production are required for glioblastomagenesis.
October 16

1
2
3
4
5
6

NOTED THIS WEEK

October 23, 2014

Concluding that “the transaction is no longer in the best interests of stockholders at the agreed upon valuation,” AbbVie’s Board of Directors has withdrawn its support for a proposed merger with the biopharma-
ceutical company Shire.
The decision was spurred by a notice from the U.S. Department of Treasury regarding the tax implications of such a transaction. AbbVie will pay Shire a “break fee” of $1.635 billion.

Roche announced that it will invest about $3.15 billion (3 billion Swiss francs) over the next 10 years in the construction and renovation of state-of-the-art offices and laboratories at its Basel, Switzerland, site. The company said that many of the buildings on the site “no longer meet present-day requirements for modern, sustainable workplaces.”

Reuters reported that a British petition signed by 29,000 people demands that Roche cut the price of its breast cancer drug Kadcyla (ado trastuzumab emtansine, or T-DM1). Britain’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence estimates that the drug costs about $145,000 per patient, which is too expensive for the nation’s state-run health service.

The FDA granted Fast Track designation to Taiho Oncology’s TAS-102, an investigational oral agent for the treatment of refractory metastatic colorectal cancer. Consisting of trifluridine and tipiracil hydrochloride, TAS-102 is an antineoplastic nucleoside analog that is incorporated into DNA and interferes with its function. The designation helps facilitate the development and expedite the review of new drugs intended to treat serious or life-threatening diseases.

The NIH announced awards totaling nearly $31 million to enhance diversity in the biomedical research workforce. The awards are part of a projected 5-year program to support more than 50 individuals, including those from backgrounds under-
represented in biomedical sciences, and partnering institutions in establishing a national consortium to develop, implement, and evaluate methods of encouraging people to pursue—and stick with—careers in biomedical research.

Genentech announced that it is partnering with Ames, IA–based NewLink Genetics to develop NLG919, an IDO pathway inhibitor akin to immune checkpoint inhibitors targeting CTLA-4, PD-1, and PD-L1. NewLink has also discovered tryptophan-2,3-dioxygenase specific inhibitors, potential anticancer compounds that could function alone or in combination with IDO inhibitors. NewLink will receive an up-front payment of $150 million and could receive $1 billion more for meeting certain milestones.

Knowing their individual risk for disease is not enough to persuade previously nonadherent patients to undergo recommended colorectal cancer screenings, according to a random-
ized, controlled trial published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers had hypothe-
sized that providing average-risk patients with a personalized genetic and environmental risk assessment would increase screening rates, but, after 6 months, there was no statistically significant difference in screening between those who received the personalized assess-
ment and those who didn’t. The researchers suggest that the findings debunk a common claim that greater knowledge of one’s genetic makeup promotes healthier behaviors.

 

RESEARCH WATCH