TapImmune Inc. (TPIV-OTC.BB), a developer of immunotherapeutics for cancer and infectious disease, yesterday provided investors with a corporate update of the Company’s progress during 2010. This year, TapImmune has announced important strategic collaborations with Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation and the Mayo Clinic. As well, the Company expects to start clinical trials in early 2011 of its immunotherapy for HER-2/neu-positive breast cancer patients. In September 2010, TapImmune strengthened its technical and strategic team through the appointments of new individuals, including Dr. Martin Cheever, a scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington. Dr. Cheever was recently awarded a $14 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to establish a new Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network to run clinical trials of the most promising new cancer immunotherapy treatments in development. TapImmune intends to continue enhancing its corporate leadership as well as seeking further beneficial partnerships.
Earlier this week, ACT Biotech Inc., a private biotech in San Francisco, announced that its Phase II trial of Telatinib had positive interim results. Telatinib is an oral compound targeting the formation of tumor-related blood vessels (angiogenesis). Its Phase II trial is studying the safety and efficacy of the compound as a first-line treatment of patients with advanced gastric (stomach) cancer. Based on promising preliminary findings in April 2010, the original planned enrollment of 35 patients was expanded to 48. The data reported in October 2010 showed that Telatinib achieved the following:
1) a high overall response rate of 66% in 32 evaluable patients;
2) a rapid and durable objective tumor response;
3) evidence of anti-angiogenic activity; and
4) was well-tolerated and revealed no new or unexpected toxicities.
Following a spinout from Bayer HealthCare LLC, ACT Biotech was founded with worldwide rights to a portfolio of roughly 350 in-licensed compounds that now compose four oncology programs. While the Company has selected gastric cancer as Telatinib’s lead clinical target, the agent has also demonstrated potential as a drug candidate to treat colorectal, liver, and kidney cancers. It holds orphan drug designation for gastric cancer in the U.S., and ACT Biotech is currently preparing for a Phase III trial of the drug.
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