News in brief

C&I Issue 11, 2008

In the US, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and cancer biotech concern Anjin have begun a three-year collaboration to accelerate the development of a fusion toxin protein for the treatment of acute myelogenous leukaemia (AML). Funding of $2.9m will be provided through the society’s Therapy Acceleration Program.

US pharma major Pfizer has been granted a worldwide licence for a cancer vaccine candidate CDX-110, which is currently in Phase II development for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme, by Celldex Therapeutics, which in Q1 2008 became a subsidiary of US vaccine developer Avant Immunotherapeutics. CDX-110, which targets the tumour-specific molecule EGFRvIII, has been granted Fast Track and Orphan Drug status by the US Food & Drug Administration. The licence gives Pfizer the right to use EGFRvIII vaccines in other potential indications.

Australian biotech firm Cytopia has signed an anti-cancer drug discovery and development collaboration with Cancer Therapeutics CRC, a collaboration between a number of Australian research institutions and commercial organisations focused on cancer drug discovery and development. The collaboration is designed to leverage Cytopia’s early stage pipeline of kinase inhibitors. Cytopia will retain an option over exclusive commercialisation rights for any candidates delivered through the project.

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