Hopeful New Therapies For Pancreatic Cancer Expected To Be a Big Boon for Biotechs

Palm Beach, FL –January 22, 2020 – Pancreatic cancer is a notoriously aggressive and hard-to-treat malignancy; the five-year survival rate is less than 10%. Treatment options for pancreatic cancer are limited to surgery, radiation, and chemotherapies; thus, demand is high for safer, more-efficacious drugs, which will serve to drive the market. ResearchAndMarkets projects that the global pancreatic cancer therapy market is expected to reach US$ 4,056.4 Mn in 2025 from US$ 2,011.2 Mn in 2017. The market is estimated to grow with a CAGR of 8.1% from 2018-2025. The growth of the pancreatic cancer therapy market is primarily attributed to the increase in number of therapies launched in the market. The development of new drugs is thus expected to drive the growth of pancreatic cancer therapy market.  The report continued by saying: “However, these drugs travel throughout the body and thus can affect normal and healthy cells adversely. Blood-forming cells in the bone marrow, hair follicles and cell in the mouth, digestive tract, and reproductive system are likely to be affected by chemotherapeutic drugs. The current treatment options available for pancreatic cancer patients only help to extend the patients’ lives by a few months.    Active biotech and pharma companies in the markets this week include Oncolytics Biotech® Inc. (NASDAQ: ONCY) (TSX: ONC), Mallinckrodt plc (NYSE: MNK), Genprex, Inc. (NASDAQ: GNPX), Soligenix, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNGX), BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: BCRX).


“This demands potential drugs that are able to enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs. Combination of two or more chemotherapy drugs are a suitable way out to increase the efficacy of the drug as well as proves advantageous in the treatment… the biologic therapy segment is expected to grow at the fastest rate during the coming years owing to increasing number of novel upcoming immunotherapies as well as targeted cell therapy that treats the cancer without any severe side effects and has number of therapeutic benefits over the conventional chemotherapies… This demands potential drugs that are able to enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs. Combination of two or more chemotherapy drugs are a suitable way out to increase the efficacy of the drug as well as proves advantageous in the treatment.”


Oncolytics Biotech® Inc. (NASDAQ: ONCY) (TSX: ONC) BREAKING NEWS:  Oncolytics Biotech® Announces Publication of an Abstract for the 2020 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium Highlighting CEACAM6 as a Potential Prognostic Biomarker Candidate for Pancreatic Cancer  – Oncolytics Biotech® currently developing pelareorep, an intravenously delivered immuno-oncolytic virus, today stated that the previously announced abstract for a poster to be presented at the 2020 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium sponsored by ASCO in San Francisco, has been published.  The abstract highlights new biomarker data from the randomized study NCI 8601:  Carboplatin and Paclitaxel With or Without Viral Therapy in Treating Patients With Recurrent or Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer.


The abstract, CEACAM6 is a candidate biomarker for Reolysin® (pelareorep) sensitivity in pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC), was co-authored by Dr. Anne Noonan, Department of Medical Oncology, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Richard Solove Research Institute and James Cancer Hospital, and Dr. Tanios Bekaii-Saab Senior Associate Consultant, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, Arizona.


Data in the abstract associate low levels of the gene CEACAM6 with prolonged progression free survival (PFS) in pelareorep-treated patients with pancreatic cancer, with PFS improving from 5.72 months to 10.32 months (p=0.05). This effect was not seen in non-pelareorep treated patients. Consequently, CEACAM6 may serve as a prognostic biomarker for sensitivity of pancreatic tumors to pelareorep treatment.  Additional data will be announced following the poster presentation.      Read this full press release and more news for ONCY at:  https://financialnewsmedia.com/news-oncy/    


Other recent developments in the biotech industry include:


Mallinckrodt plc (NYSE: MNK) a global biopharmaceutical company, recently confirmed enrollment of the first patient in the company’s Phase 4, multi-center, multiple-dose, open-label study to assess the effects of Acthar Gel as a therapy option in patients with severe keratitis.


“In my experience, a considerable number of severe keratitis patients can have persistent disease that may not be resolved by first-line treatment,” said Eugene McLaurin, MD and Fellow, American Academy of Ophthalmology and American College of Surgeons. “I am pleased that the first patient has been enrolled in this important Phase 4 study, the results of which may potentially provide data to further support Acthar Gel as a treatment option in appropriate keratitis patients.”


Genprex, Inc. (NASDAQ: GNPX) a clinical-stage gene therapy company utilizing a unique, non-viral proprietary platform designed to deliver tumor suppressor genes to cancer cells, recently announced that the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track Designation for Genprex’s Oncoprex™ immunogene therapy in combination with EGFR inhibitor osimertinib (AstraZeneca’s Tagrisso®, which had worldwide sales in 2018 of $1.86 billion, $2.31 billion in the first 9 months of 2019 and is currently AstraZeneca’s highest grossing product) for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with EFGR mutations that progressed after treatment with osimertinib alone. Oncoprex is comprised of the TUSC2 (Tumor Suppressor Candidate 2) gene complexed with a lipid nanoparticle. TUSC2 is the active agent in Oncoprex.


Genprex has treated more than 50 lung cancer patients with Oncoprex in Phase I and II clinical trials. The company believes the data from these trials are encouraging as to both safety and efficacy.


Soligenix, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNGX)  a late-stage pharmaceutical company working to improve the current standard of care for numerous rare diseases through the development and commercialization of novel treatments, is nearing the release of topline data after completing final enrollment for SGX301, a pivotal Phase 3 trial targeting the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. A successful report may position the company for significant increases to shareholder value before the end of Q1 2020, and ultimately position the company to commercialize its first drug in a market that is estimated at a more than $200 million revenue opportunity.


The Phase 3 clinical trial is focused on the potential benefits of Soligenix’s topical drug ointment SGX301, or synthetic hypericin, in the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). CTCL is a rare type of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma that sits high on the list of conditions that has no current or effective drug treatment, pushing Soligenix to fill the demand to serve this unmet medical need.


BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: BCRX) recently announced the appointments of Charles Gayer as chief commercial officer and Allen Hodge as vice president and general manager for the United States.


Mr. Gayer joined BioCryst in 2015 as vice president of global strategic marketing. Since July 2019 he has served as interim chief commercial officer, playing a key role in defining the strategy, and building the commercial operations, to support the launch of berotralstat, BioCryst’s oral kallikrein inhibitor for hereditary angioedema (HAE).



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