Orphan Drug Development to Target Increasing Incidence of Liver Cancer

Palm Beach, FL – July 22, 2020  – The rising incidence of liver cancer and growing research activities for developing novel treatments plus the availability of newer drugs and treatments coupled with rising awareness among consumer/patients regarding liver cancer, are the factors that are driving the market. A report from Fior Markets said that the global liver cancer treatment market is expected to reach USD 2,186.63 Million by 2025, at a CAGR of 19.85% from 2018 to 2025. The report said that: “Hepatic or liver cancer is one of the most commonly prevalent types of cancer… It is known for its aggressive nature and poor survival rate. Certain medical conditions such as Hepatitis B and C viral infections, type 2 diabetes, excess body weight, and liver cirrhosis are known to be the leading causes for the onset of liver cancer. Consumption of alcohol, tobacco is acknowledged to exponentially increase the risk of liver cancer. Thus, increasing research activities in the development of the novel drug and therapeutic systems are anticipated to propel the global liver cancer treatment market. Hepatocellular carcinoma, or primary liver cancer, tends to grow and expand at a fast rate if it is not detected early. This means that people who have been diagnosed with it may not survive longer than 10 to 11 months. The studies show that in the United States, hepatocellular carcinoma is the ninth leading cause of cancer-related deaths. To treat it, specialists will usually prescribe therapy with a drug called “sorafenib.” But unfortunately, this drug can typically prolong survival by only 3 months, and it can have numerous adverse effects.”   Active biotech and pharma companies in the markets this week include:  Q BioMed Inc. (OTCQB: QBIO), OPKO Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPK), Midatech Pharma plc (NASDAQ: MTP), Genprex, Inc. (NASDAQ: GNPX), Onconova Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONTX).


The report continued: “Factors such as rising incidence of liver cancer and growing research activities for developing novel treatments coupled with increasing government funding for the cancer treatment research are driving the global liver cancer treatment market.   Growing use of immunotherapy drugs in the combination drug treatments is leading major drug manufacturers to develop and launch the newer medicines… Growth government funding has provided a fillip for the cancer treatment research activities.” It also said that the due to its increasing adoption in the combination drug treatments the immunotherapy segment is projected to grow at a CAGR of 21.63% over the forecast period.”


Q BioMed Inc. (OTCQB:QBIO) BREAKING NEWS:  Q BIOMED TO SCALE UP PRODUCTION OF UTTROSIDE-B, A   NOVEL CHEMOTHERAPEUTIC FOR LIVER CANCER, IN PREPARATION FOR IND FILING – Q BioMed and Chemveda Life Sciences are very pleased to continue their collaboration on Uttroside-B, a chemotherapeutic that has shown remarkable potential efficacy as a treatment for liver cancer.


While focused on its commercial rollout of Strontium89, this drug development program will advance another important asset in the Company’s portfolio towards monetization. The efficacy of Uttroside-B, a potent saponin, against liver cancer was demonstrated in a preclinical study published in the November 2016 issue of Scientific Reports, a Nature journal.


In the study, researchers showed that in animal models, Uttroside-B was ten times more cytotoxic to the HepG2 liver cancer cell line than sorafenib, the only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for liver cancer at the time, and the current first line treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma. Uttroside-B drastically shrunk tumors in mice bearing human liver cancer xenografts. In addition, in pre-clinical experiments Uttroside-B induced cytotoxicity in all liver cancer cell lines, and researchers were also able to confirm its biological safety, both by in vitro and in vivo studies.


Denis Corin, Q BioMed CEO said, “Having successfully completed a very challenging synthesis program, we are pleased to be able to advance this important asset towards the clinic and the patients we hope to treat. Liver cancer incidence rates have more than tripled since 1980, while the death rates have more than doubled during this time. More than 800,000 people are diagnosed with this cancer each year throughout the world and it accounts for more than 700,000 deaths annually. New, more effective treatments for these patients is vital and we are encouraged by the early data we have seen with our molecule.”


Q BioMed and its partners in the project, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and The Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB), will now advance the most promising candidate into preclinical testing and validation over the next few months in anticipation of an Orphan Drug application and an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for a clinical program.


The Uttroside B technology is covered by a provisional patent application. To see the full Scientific Reports study, go to:  http://www.nature.com/articles/srep36318    Read this entire release and more news for QBIO athttps://www.financialnewsmedia.com/news-qbio/


Other recent developments in the biotech industry include:


OPKO Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPK) BioReference Laboratories, Inc., an OPKO Health company, recently announced it will accept an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract award to provide Commercial Surge Capacity Testing for COVID-19 Emergency Response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Under the contract with the CDC, BioReference will perform antibody testing to determine COVID-19 seroprevalence, and will provide results with key demographic information and analysis in collaboration with the CDC. The agreement’s period of performance began July 20, 2020, and is ongoing through November 19, 2020.


Midatech Pharma plc (NASDAQ: MTP) a drug delivery technology company focused on improving the bio-delivery and bio-distribution of medicines recently announced that electronic copies of its Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 December 2019 are now available from the Company’s investor relations website.


Midatech Pharma PLC (dual listed on LSE AIM: MTPH; and NASDAQ: MTP) is an R&D company focused on ‘Making Medicines Better’ by improving delivery of drugs in the body. The Company combines existing medications with its proprietary and innovative drug delivery technologies to provide compelling oncology and rare disease products that have the potential to powerfully impact the lives of patients undergoing treatment for life threatening diseases.


Genprex, Inc. (NASDAQ: GNPX) a clinical-stage gene therapy company developing potentially life-changing technologies for patients with cancer and diabetes, recently announced that Dr. George K. Gittes, MD of the University of Pittsburg, the lead researcher that developed the Company’s potentially curative diabetes gene therapy, was awarded a grant of $2.59 million from the NIH National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The grant will assist Dr. Gittes’s development for his research project titled, “Alpha Cell Conversion to Beta Cells in Non-human Primates” and will build upon his accumulating groundbreaking gene therapy work toward finding a cure for diabetes. In this project, Dr. Gittes’ research team will conduct important proof-of-principle studies in non-human primates as the last steps in preparation for human gene therapy clinical trials. This technology is the subject of an exclusive license agreement entered into between Genprex and the University of Pittsburgh in February of 2020.


“We are excited to receive this funding to support our research in diabetic primates as we move toward human clinical trials,” said Dr. George Gittes, Co-Scientific Director and Professor of Surgery at the UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburg and the lead researcher behind the diabetes gene therapy. “We saw encouraging data in our preclinical mice studies, where the gene therapy reprogrammed pancreatic cells to restore normal blood glucose levels in diabetic mice for approximately four months, which could translate to decades in humans. More recently, preliminary results in non-human primates (monkeys) has also been very promising.”


Onconova Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONTX) recently announced the e-publication of results from a Phase 1 company-sponsored study of oral rigosertib in combination with standard dose azacitidine in the treatment of patients diagnosed with either higher-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (HR-MDS) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in the international hematological malignancy journal Leukemia Research.


“A key strategy emerging in the treatment of MDS is the identification of safe and effective combinations, particularly those involving oral agents. The results from this Phase 1 study represent Onconova’s first efforts to explore oral rigosertib in combination with azacitidine to address the unmet medical need in patients with MDS and AML. We anticipate meeting with the FDA, in conjunction with the pivotal data readout from the INSPIRE Trial, for alignment with the agency on a registration trial for the combination of oral rigosertib plus azacitidine in HMA-naïve HR-MDS,“ said Steven M. Fruchtman, M.D., President and CEO of Onconova.


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