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Big pharma and cancer

Chungyong Han, Byoung S Kwon
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells have outstanding therapeutic potential for treating blood cancers. The prospects for this technology have accelerated basic research, clinical translation and Big Pharma's investment in the field of T-cell therapeutics. This interest has led to the discovery of key factors that affect CAR T-cell efficacy and play pivotal roles in T-cell immunology. Herein, we introduce advances in adoptive immunotherapy and the birth of CAR T cells, and review CAR T-cell studies that focus on three important features: CAR constructs, target antigens and T-cell phenotypes...
March 2018: Immunotherapy
Javier A Menendez, Ruth Lupu
Ten years ago, we put forward the metabolo-oncogenic nature of fatty acid synthase (FASN) in breast cancer. Since the conception of this hypothesis, which provided a model to explain how FASN is intertwined with various signaling networks to cell-autonomously regulate breast cancer initiation and progression, FASN has received considerable attention as a therapeutic target. However, despite the ever-growing evidence demonstrating the involvement of FASN as part of the cancer-associated metabolic reprogramming, translation of the basic science-discovery aspects of FASN blockade to the clinical arena remains a challenge...
November 2017: Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets
Javier A Menendez
The current global portfolio of oncology drugs is unlikely to produce durable disease remission for millions of cancer patients worldwide. This is due, in part, to the existence of so-called cancer stem cells (CSCs), a particularly aggressive type of malignant cell that is capable of indefinite self-replication, is refractory to conventional treatments, and is skilled at spreading and colonizing distant organs. To date, no drugs from big-league Pharma companies are capable of killing CSCs. Why? Quite simply, a classic drug development approach based on mutated genes and pathological protein products cannot efficiently target the plastic, epigenetic proclivity of cancer tissues to generate CSCs...
2015: Current Pharmaceutical Design
Sharad K Verma
Epigenetics investigates heritable changes in gene transcription that do not involve a change in DNA sequence, and an increased understanding in the role of epigenetic misregulation as a key contributor to cancer has triggered the development of epigenetic targeted cancer therapies. Among these include efforts around a class of enzymes known as histone methyltransferases (HMTs). The level of interest in the development of HMT inhibitors as a class of anticancer agents has significantly grown beyond academic settings, and in the last 5 years whole research groups from biotech and big pharma have been dedicated to this area...
2015: Methods in Molecular Biology
D Haussecker
12 years following the discovery of the RNAi mechanism in Man, a number of RNAi therapeutics development candidates have emerged with profiles suggesting that they could become drugs of significant medical importance for diseases like TTR amyloidosis, HBV, solid cancers, and hemophilia. Despite this robust progress, the perception of RNAi therapeutics has been on a roller-coaster ride driven not only by science, but also regulatory trends, the stock markets, and Big Pharma business development decisions [1]...
December 10, 2014: Journal of Controlled Release: Official Journal of the Controlled Release Society
Jane Cottingham, Marge Berer
The range of medicines and technologies that are essential for sexual and reproductive health care is well established, but access to them is far from universally assured, particularly in less developed countries. This paper shows how the pharmaceutical industry plays a major role in the lack of access to essential medicines for sexual and reproductive health care, by a) investing in products for profit-making reasons despite their negative health impact (e.g. hormone replacement therapy), b) marketing new essential medicines at prices beyond the reach of countries that most need them (e...
November 2011: Reproductive Health Matters
Attilio Fabbretti, Claudio O Gualerzi, Letizia Brandi
Since their introduction in therapy, antibiotics have played an essential role in human society, saving millions of lives, allowing safe surgery, organ transplants, cancer therapy. Antibiotics have also helped to elucidate several biological mechanisms and boosted the birth and growth of pharmaceutical companies, generating profits and royalties. The golden era of antibiotics and the scientific and economical drive of big pharma towards these molecules is long gone, but the need for effective antibiotics is increased as their pipelines dwindle and multi-resistant pathogenic strains spread...
June 6, 2011: FEBS Letters
Tamas Bartfai, Graham Vaughan Lees
Within days of each other, Pfizer, Merck, and GlaxoSmithKline announced that they will focus on a few therapeutic areas only and abandon others entirely. Pfizer alone will close well over a hundred drug development projects that have reached two-thirds of the way to launch. The programs are deemed to be too risky and not lucrative enough for Big Pharma in the current climate. Society has a real need for the drugs that are no longer going to be developed for, among others, drug-resistant epilepsy, neuropathic and cancer pain, type-2 diabetes, obesity, and schizophrenia...
February 14, 2011: TheScientificWorldJournal
Liza Sovran
The 11th Annual World Vaccine Congress, held in Lyon, included topics covering new therapeutic developments in the field of vaccines. This conference report highlights selected presentations on the role of big pharma in vaccine development, the future direction of vaccine R&D, influenza preparedness in Europe, and vaccines for Staphylococcus aureus, CMV and cancer. Investigational drugs discussed include an H5N1 influenza vaccine program from Baxter International Inc/DynPort Vaccine Co LLC, FP-01 (Immune Targeting Systems Ltd), FluGEM (Mucosis BV), a nonstructural protein-1-altered live-attenuated influenza vaccine candidate from Vivaldi Biosciences Inc, PentaStaph (GlaxoSmithKline plc) and StaphVAX (Nabi Biopharmaceuticals), VCL-CB01 (Vical Inc) and astuprotimut-r (GlaxoSmithKline)...
December 2009: IDrugs: the Investigational Drugs Journal
Alfonso Dueñas-González, Patricia García-López, Luis Alonso Herrera, Jose Luis Medina-Franco, Aurora González-Fierro, Myrna Candelaria
Cancer rates are set to increase at an alarming rate, from 10 million new cases globally in 2000 to 15 million in 2020. Regarding the pharmacological treatment of cancer, we currently are in the interphase of two treatment eras. The so-called pregenomic therapy which names the traditional cancer drugs, mainly cytotoxic drug types, and post-genomic era-type drugs referring to rationally-based designed. Although there are successful examples of this newer drug discovery approach, most target-specific agents only provide small gains in symptom control and/or survival, whereas others have consistently failed in the clinical testing...
2008: Molecular Cancer
Rebecca Coombes
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 19, 2007: BMJ: British Medical Journal
David Sherris
Technology has caught up with retinal diseases of neovasculature. Work with anti-cancer, anti-angiogenic agents has fueled the way for ocular therapeutics. The market size for age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy is huge. Fifteen million people in the United States alone have age-related macular degeneration with 2 million new cases each year (1). About 20.8 million people in the United States have diabetes. Of those, 14.6 million are diagnosed and 6.2 million are undiagnosed (2). Of patients who have had type 1 diabetics for more than 20 years, 50% will have proliferative diabetic retinopathy (3)...
2007: Angiogenesis
Gregory J Wiederrecht, Raymond G Hill, Margaret S Beer
The process involved in the identification and development of novel breakthrough medicines at big pharma has recently undergone significant changes, in part because of the extraordinary complexity that is associated with tackling diseases of high unmet need, and also because of the increasingly demanding requirements that have been placed on the pharmaceutical industry by investors and regulatory authorities. In addition, big pharma no longer have a monopoly on the tools and enabling technologies that are required to identify and discover new drugs, as many biotech companies now also have these capabilities...
August 2006: IDrugs: the Investigational Drugs Journal
Jason A Sager, Christoph Lengauer
Discovering drugs has never been an easy task. Traditionally, this task has exclusively been undertaken by large pharmaceutical companies that recovered their high research and development costs by selling expensive medications. Despite the huge amount of time and effort devoted towards drug discovery over the last decade, the successful therapy of cancer has been limited. There are signs that the approach of how to discover drugs might change, especially in the field of cancer. Recently, several academic institutions have started to develop their own drug discovery programs...
July 2003: Cancer Biology & Therapy
Jason A Sager, Christoph Lengauer
This article was previously published in Cancer Biol Ther 2(4):452-455. Discovering drugs has never been an easy task. Traditionally, this task has exclusively been undertaken by large pharmaceutical companies that recovered their high RD costs by selling expensive medications. Despite the huge amount of time and effort devoted towards drug discovery over the last decade, the successful therapy of cancer has been limited. There are signs that the approach of how to discover drugs might change, especially in the field of cancer...
July 2003: Cancer Biology & Therapy
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