Biotech Brief: Researchers Looking at New Bundled Treatment Options For Leukemia

Palm Beach, FL –July 10, 2019 – The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2019 there will be about 61,780 new cases of leukemia and 22,840 deaths from leukemia and 21,450 new cases of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Most will be in adults. About 10,920 deaths from AML… again almost all will be in adults. AML is generally a disease of older people and is uncommon before the age of 45. The average age of people when they are first diagnosed with AML is about 68… but AML can also occur in children as well. But the Society says that: “Researchers are now studying the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) at many medical centers, university hospitals, and other institutions…. (and)… There has been great progress in understanding how changes in the DNA (genes) inside normal bone marrow cells can cause them to develop into leukemia cells. A greater understanding of the gene changes that often occur in AML is providing insight into why these cells become abnormal. As researchers have found more of these changes, it is becoming clear that there are many types of AML. Each might have different gene changes that affect how the leukemia will progress and which treatments might be most helpful. Doctors are now learning how to use these changes to help them determine a person’s outlook and if they should receive more or less intensive treatment. Perhaps even more important, this knowledge is now being used to help develop newer targeted therapies against AML.”    Active biotech and pharma companies in the markets this week include Moleculin Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBRX), Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (NYSE: TEVA), Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ENDP), Altimmune, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALT), Amarin Corporation plc (NASDAQ: AMRN).


Chemotherapy is the main treatment for most types of AML but: “… Researchers are now looking at ways to prevent or reverse this resistance by using other drugs along with chemo. They are also looking at combining chemo with a number of newer types of drugs to see if this might work better… Newer targeted drugs that specifically attack some of the gene changes seen in AML cells are now becoming an important part of treatment for some people with AML.”


Moleculin Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBRX) BREAKING NEWS:  Moleculin Biotech, a clinical stage pharmaceutical company with a broad portfolio of drug candidates targeting highly resistant tumors, today announced it has filed new patents covering the production and reconstitution of Annamycin, which is currently in two clinical trials for the treatment of relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML).


“Annamycin already has Orphan Drug Designation for the treatment of AML,” commented Walter Klemp, Moleculin’s Chairman and CEO,  “but these new patent applications, if these patent applications are approved, would give us 20 years of protection for our drug.”


Mr. Klemp continued: “Since we have recently announced promising preclinical data showing the potential for Annamycin to become an important treatment for lung metastases, having this broad coverage should add considerable value to this asset.”     Read this and more news for MBRX at     


Other recent developments in the biotech industry include:


Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (NYSE: TEVA) recently presented the FOCUS exploratory endpoints results at the 5th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN), Oslo, Norway from June 29th – July 2nd, 2019.


These endpoints, which were shared for the first time at EAN, conclude the presentation of pre-specified study endpoints from the Phase IIIb FOCUS study. This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of fremanezumab for the preventive treatment of migraine in adult patients who previously experienced inadequate responses to two to four classes of preventive treatments.


Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ENDP) recently announced that clinical data from a Phase 3 investigational study of collagenase clostridium histolyticum (CCH) for the treatment of cellulite will be presented by Lawrence Bass , M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon with a practice in New York City . Dr. Bass will present the Phase 3 data during the Premier Global Hot Topics session, which takes place today from 1:00pm – 6:00pm (Central Time) at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The Hot Topics session is considered to be a highlight of The Aesthetic Meeting 2019, the annual meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (The Aesthetic Society).


Altimmune, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALT), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, recently announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Spitfire Pharma, Inc. (Spitfire) including its product candidate SP-1373 (to be renamed ALT-801), a potent GLP-1/Glucagon receptor co-agonist for the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The transaction is expected to close during July 2019, subject to customary closing conditions.


Spitfire, a portfolio company of Presidio Partners, was founded by John J. Nestor, Jr., Ph.D. and Velocity Pharmaceutical Development, LLC, for the sole purpose of developing the NASH drug candidate, SP-1373. Spitfire shareholders will receive an upfront payment of $5 million in Altimmune common stock and will be eligible to receive an additional $8 million in future regulatory and clinical milestones payable in cash or common stock. Spitfire shareholders are also eligible to receive up to $80 million in sales-based milestones. The issuance of common stock to satisfy the milestone payments is subject to stockholder approval in accordance with Nasdaq rules.


Amarin Corporation plc (NASDAQ: AMRN)  a pharmaceutical company focused on improving cardiovascular health, recently provided a business update, including that the company is increasing revenue guidance for 2019 and planning to further increase its commercial expansion efforts to align with its progress and outlook that the realizable opportunity for Vascepa®(icosapent ethyl) is larger than previously believed. These revised plans follow estimated record revenues for the quarter ended June 30, 2019 and assume expanded FDA labelling for Vascepa.  Read the full release at:


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