Cancer Drugs: January 2007 Archives

Adherex takes full control of failed cancer drug


adherexAdherex Technologies is paying GlaxoSmithKline a million dollars up front and a set of milestones in exchange for the outstanding options on the cancer drug eniluracil. GSK shuttered its development program for the therapy after it failed a Phase III trial in combination with 5-FU. Adherex, though, believes that the reason for the failure was an "unexpected dose- and schedule-dependent drug interaction that resulted in the inhibition of 5-FU's activation into an effective anticancer agent."

"While GSK's initial Phase III trials with the product failed, we now have data to support each element of our hypothesis as to why those trials failed," says William P. Peters, M.D., Ph.D., chairman and CEO of Adherex. "We expect to complete our Phase I dose-escalation trial in North America shortly and intend to begin our Phase II trial in breast cancer promptly thereafter. We also have a Phase I/II trial in hepatocellular cancer ongoing in Asia."

read the full press release 

Genentech earnings boosted by cancer drugs


genentechBoasting its 20th consecutive profitable quarter, biotechnology powerhouse Genentech on Wednesday reported a 75 percent increase in net income for the fourth quarter of 2006, compared with the same period a year ago.

The South San Francisco company's net income for the three-month period that ended Dec. 31 totaled $594 million, or 55 cents a share. That was up from $339 million, or 31 cents a share, for the fourth quarter of 2005.

Aside from stock options or other special expenses unrelated to its ongoing operations, Genentech said it would have earned 61 cents a share, 5 cents more than what most analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had predicted.

Peregrine tech could guide cancer drugs


peregrine pharmaceuticalsBiotech drug developer Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Tuesday that a recently published animal study showed a technology it licenses could be effective in determining what cancer treatment works in a given patient sooner.

An animal study appearing in the Jan. 1 edition of Clinical Cancer Research showed that microbubbles used in mice being treated for pancreatic cancer allowed ultrasound imaging to determine whether cancer therapies designed to choke off the blood supply to tumors were working or not.

The study used the Vascular Targeting Agent technology that Peregrine licenses exclusively from the University of Texas from Southwestern Medical Center, which conducted the study appearing the journal.