Targeted Therapies for Glioblastoma Becoming Critical As Increasing Incidence of Brain Cancer Rises

Palm Beach, FL – October 13, 2020 – The number of new cases of brain cancer across the world has been growing consistently for years and it is projected to continue on this upward path, which leads to recent reports projecting that the global treatment markets should also see increased revenues for years to come. A recent report from Coherent Market Insights reported that the global recurrent glioblastoma multiforme treatment market, estimated to be valued at US$ 369.6 million in 2020 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 6.14% during the forecast period (2020-2027). Glioblastoma is a type of brain tumor that arises from the glial or supportive brain tissue called ‘glioma’. Glioblastoma multiforme (abbreviated as GBM) is an aggressive malignant brain tumor that has a very poor prognosis. The commercially available treatment option for this condition faces many challenges, including the crossing of blood brain barrier, which are limiting the concentration of drugs at the tumor site. Key companies in this market are actively focused on research & development activities to develop, and commercialize novel drugs for the treatment of such condition.   Active biotech and pharma companies in the markets this week include Moleculin Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBRX), GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE: GSK), Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK), Surface Oncology (NASDAQ:SURF), Sangamo Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGMO).


The report added that increasing incidence of brain tumors is expected to drive growth of the global recurrent glioblastoma multiforme treatment market during the forecast period. As per the National Foundation for Cancer Research, GBM is the deadliest type of brain cancer, accounting for 45% of all malignant brain tumors. Furthermore, according to the article published by National Brain Tumor Society, over 10% of people with brain tumors are at high risk of developing glioblastomas.  Another report from Mordor Intelligence added that:” Factors such as the increasing burden of brain disorders, strong R&D initiatives from key players and rising geriatric population are boosting the growth of the glioblastoma multiforme treatment market… the number of new cases of brain cancer across the world. (has led) to increased care providers shifting to the mainstream treatment associated with the glioblastoma treatment. Hence, the growing focus toward the development of better treatment options invites more cancer chemotherapy based companies to generate innovative drugs as well as explore different geographic regions to grow the sales of chemotherapy and radiation therapy products thus fueling the growth of glioblastoma multiforme treatment market.


Moleculin Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBRX) BREAKING NEWSMoleculin Announces Additional Positive Interim Results in Adult Glioblastoma Clinical Trial – Adult brain tumor trial advances to final dose escalation cohort of WP1066 – Moleculin Biotech, a clinical stage pharmaceutical company with a broad portfolio of drug candidates targeting significant unmet needs in the treatment of tumors and viruses, announced additional preliminary data from the Phase 1 clinical trial of its immuno-stimulating STAT3 inhibitor, WP1066, in patients with glioblastoma (GBM).  This supports the progression of the trial to the fourth and final dose escalation cohort.  Three patients have completed treatment in the third cohort at a dose level of 8 mg/kg with no adverse events related to WP1066 and the study will now proceed to the next higher dose of 16 mg/kg.


Walter Klemp, Chairman and CEO of Moleculin, stated, “On the heels of our recent positive announcement regarding the progress of the pediatric brain tumor trial of WP1066, we are pleased to also report on the progress of the adult GBM clinical trial for the same drug candidate.  The trial in adults has been important in leading the way to establishing a safe and tolerable human dose level for what we believe is a first-in-class compound that crosses the blood-brain barrier and is being developed for the treatment of central nervous system malignancies.  In animal models, WP1066 has been shown to stimulate immune responses that successfully modulate oncogenic transcriptional activity in tumor cells and repress their ability to drive tumor growth.


Mr. Klemp continued: “In addition to providing valuable pharmacokinetic data, this trial also creates the foundation for future studies in WP1066, including another investigator-initiated study, which is currently being proposed to examine the combination of WP1066 with radiation for the treatment of GBM.  This next clinical trial is being proposed as a result of recent discoveries presented in a peer-reviewed article published in Clinical Cancer Research (Clin Cancer Res June 30 2020 DOI:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-4092), which reported findings that Moleculin’s STAT3 inhibitor, WP1066, used in combination with traditional whole brain radiation therapy, resulted in long-term survivors and enhanced median survival time relative to monotherapy in mice with implanted human brain tumors.”


Mr. Klemp concluded, “In keeping with our established clinical trial reporting policies, we look forward to updating investors on the continued progress of this trial once this final cohort is completed.”    Read this full release and more news for MBRX at     


Other recent developments in the biotech industry include:


In an article issued by The Motley Fool on Monday, Shares of Surface Oncology (NASDAQ:SURF) were soaring 19.1% higher as of 3:26 p.m. EDT on Monday. The big jump came after StreetInsider reported that Surface Oncology has hired an investment bank to explore selling the company, with GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) expressing interest in acquiring the biotech. Reports of potential acquisitions almost always spark a sharp gain for small biotech stocks like Surface Oncology. The key question for investors, though, is whether or not the reports will actually pan out.


It wouldn’t be surprising if GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is interested in a deal. Surface has a promising early-stage pipeline with three candidates targeting the inhibition of different antibodies. GSK has focused on building its oncology pipeline in recent years, with its 2019 acquisition of Tesaro a key milestone in that effort.  The reported move by Surface to bring in an investment bank could also be encouraging news for investors. GSK might not be the only big drugmaker interested in scooping up Surface’s pipeline.   Neither Surface Oncology nor GlaxoSmithKline has confirmed StreetInsider’s report yet. But should a deal be in the making, it’s quite possible that Surface will have even more room to run.


Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, recently announced Week 96 data from the Phase 2b trial (NCT03272347) evaluating the efficacy and safety of islatravir, the company’s investigational oral nucleoside reverse transcriptase translocation inhibitor (NRTTI), in combination with doravirine (PIFELTRO™), in treatment-naïve adults with HIV-1 infection. Week 96 findings demonstrated that the combination of islatravir and doravirine maintained virologic suppression (as measured by the number of study participants achieving HIV-1 RNA levels <50 copies/mL, similar to DELSTRIGO™ (doravirine/lamivudine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate)), and the findings were consistent with Week 48 results. Additional Week 96 data from the study show low rates of participants meeting the definition of protocol-defined virologic failure (PDVF) in both the islatravir plus doravirine and the DELSTRIGO treatment arms, and no participants in either arm met the criteria for resistance testing. Merck also announced results from Phase 1/1b studies for MK-8507, the company’s investigational once-weekly oral non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), which showed that the antiviral potency and pharmacokinetics of MK-8507 support further investigation for once-weekly oral administration as part of combination antiretroviral therapy.


Sangamo Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGMO), a genomic medicines company, and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) recently announced that the first participant has been dosed in the Phase 3 AFFINE study of giroctocogene fitelparvovec (SB-525), an investigational gene therapy for hemophilia A patients.


AFFINE is a global Phase 3, open-label, multicenter, single arm study that will evaluate the efficacy and safety of giroctocogene fitelparvovec in patients with moderately severe to severe hemophilia A. The primary endpoint is impact on annual bleed rate (ABR) through 12 months following treatment with giroctocogene fitelparvovec, compared to ABR on Factor VIII (FVIII) replacement therapy collected in the Phase 3 lead-in study period. Participants will be analyzed throughout the 5-year study period following the single infusion to further assess the durability and efficacy.


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