NEW YORK, Nov. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Cancer is among the leading causes of death in the world as countries are burdened by a lack of access to adequate healthcare. In 2018, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) estimated that there were 18 million new cancer cases worldwide. Among these 18 million, 9.5 million were men and 8.5 million were women, while the most commonly diagnosed cancers were lung, breast, and colorectal. In particular, the top three diagnosed cancers accounted for over a third of total global cases. And while most cases of cancer result from risk factors such as poor diet, nutrition, and physical condition, in some instances, cancer can be caused by hereditary factors such as genetics or even environmental impacts. The WCRF mentioned that roughly 40% of cancer cases in 2018 could have been prevented if patients had a more well-rounded diet. Nonetheless, the number of cases is gradually rising, prompting pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to develop innovative treatments. The cancer treatment market is a large sector due to the various methods and techniques companies choose to employ. For instance, chemotherapy is one of the most popular cancer treatments that uses anti-cancer drugs to either cure cancer, prolong life expectancy, or suppress symptoms. On the other hand, radiotherapy is another popular treatment that is aimed at controlling or eliminating malignant cells. Notably, immunotherapies have also become increasingly popular among cancer patients as the therapy harnesses the patient's immune system in order to fight against cancer. Overall, the development of these cancer treatments is collectively accelerating the overall cancer treatment industry. And according to data compiled by Global Market Insights, the global biotechnology market was valued at USD 399.4 Billion in 2017 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.9% from 2018 to 2024. Q BioMed Inc. (OTC: QBIO), Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD), Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG), Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE)
With the advancement of the cancer therapy market, new forms of treatment are now being studied and manufactured. New therapies such as personalized medicine, CAR T-cell therapy, and targeted therapies have all become highly popular in recent years. In particular, the targeted therapies market is one of the fastest treatment segments. Targeted therapies are drugs that block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific molecules involved in the growth, progression, and spread of malignant cells, according to the National Cancer Institute. Eventually, the drug can completely eliminate cancerous cells or make them dormant. However, not all anticancer drugs are solely correlated to slowing or eradicating cancer. For example, some drugs are used to alleviate symptoms associated with cancer such as chronic pain, nausea, and lack of appetite. Specifically, drugs such as opioids or appetite stimulants are commonly used among cancer patients. "Everything today is becoming more and more personalized. With cancer treatments, the genomic information on the tumor is increasingly becoming available as the cost of sequencing continues to drop. We can expect a future where we will have much more precise treatments based upon the genomic signature of the patient," said Sean Marett, Chief Brand Officer and Chief Commercial Officer of German immuno-oncology company BioNTech. "A pharmacy will no longer be selling tablets off the shelf. We're going to be delivering a specific treatment only for the patient."
Q BioMed Inc. (OTCQB: QBIO) announced today that, "its technology partner, Mannin, has received a $7.5M grant from the German state of Saxony. Mannin is a research-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of therapeutics for vascular diseases. It was founded in July 2012 and is led by President and CEO, Dr. George Nikopoulos. Q BioMed and Mannin have been partners since 2015.
The overall objective of the grant is to fund the development of novel pharmaceuticals and biologic treatments for glaucoma. There have been few innovations in glaucoma drug development in recent history and glaucoma remains a leading cause of blindness in Europe. More innovation and solutions are required to address the unmet needs of more than 12 million Europeans who suffer from this disease.
The approval of the grant means that Q BioMed and Mannin can significantly accelerate the development of these therapeutics. Denis Corin, CEO of Q BioMed, said of the grant, "We are thrilled that we will be able to speed the development of these promising therapeutics and bring new innovation to glaucoma patients as soon as possible. Our partnership with Mannin and now, the government of Saxony is important to the advancement of this unique drug platform and we look forward to supporting the build-out of the Mannin European headquarters in Leipzig."
Mannin is leveraging two distinct modes of action to reduce the intraocular pressure that causes glaucoma, utilizing different routes of administration and dosing regimens. Mannin is currently working on the preclinical development of a small molecule pharmaceutical eye-drop as well as a novel recombinant protein injectable biologic. This approach increases the probability of success of developing a new therapy that is optimized for the needs of glaucoma patients. Additionally, Mannin is exploring other therapeutic opportunities using these molecules for vascular diseases.
George Nikopoulos, President and CEO of Mannin, stated, "We are very encouraged by the confidence and enthusiasm the government of Saxony has shown in our research, and we are committed to making accelerated progress through their investment."
Q BioMed and Mannin intend to announce further details regarding the research program later this year.
About Q BioMed Inc: Q BioMed Inc. is a biotech acceleration and commercial stage company. We are focused on licensing and acquiring undervalued biomedical assets in the healthcare sector. Q BioMed is dedicated to providing these target assets; strategic resources, developmental support, and expansion capital to ensure they meet their developmental potential, enabling them to provide products to patients in need.
Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG) announced earlier this September an additional ten programs selected for funding under its Celgene Cancer Care Links™ program, an initiative designed to support healthcare capacity building in resource-constrained countries around the world. The program and initial grants were announced in December 2018. The Celgene Cancer Care Links program is an activity of Celgene Global Health, which focuses on healthcare challenges facing patients in developing parts of the world. Programs support established institutions partnering with in-country medical centers that provide essential health and cancer care services including awareness and education, prevention, diagnosis and care. "Celgene Cancer Care Links continues to provide critical support to organizations that are shaping healthcare practice in resource-constrained countries," said Mark J. Alles, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Celgene. "Programs like this are the reason Celgene Global Health is such an important part of what we do for patients each day."
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need. Gilead Sciences, Inc. and Carna Biosciences Inc. recently announced that the companies had entered into a research and development collaboration to develop and commercialize small molecule compounds in immuno-oncology and to access Carna's proprietary lipid kinase drug discovery platform. Under the terms of the license agreement, Gilead will license from Carna worldwide rights to develop and commercialize inhibitors against an undisclosed immuno-oncology target. In connection with this agreement, Carna will receive an upfront payment of USD 20 Million and is eligible to receive up to an additional USD 450 Million in potential milestone payments upon achievement of certain development and commercial milestones. Carna will also receive royalties on future net sales. "Gilead is committed to building a pipeline in immuno-oncology with a focus on opportunities with the potential to be first-in-class or to be meaningfully differentiated from other therapeutic options," said John McHutchison, AO, MD, Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Research and Development at Gilead Sciences. "Our Carna collaboration also reflects this strategy and we look forward to working with the Carna team to advance novel immunotherapies into clinical testing for the potential benefit of patients."
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK), for more than a century, a leading global biopharmaceutical company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and Immune Design, recently announced that the companies had entered into a definitive agreement under which Merck, through a subsidiary, will acquire Immune Design for USD 5.85 per share in cash for an approximate value of USD 300 Million. Immune Design is a late-stage immunotherapy company employing next-generation in vivo approaches to enable the body's immune system to fight disease. The company's proprietary technologies, GLAAS® and ZVex®, are engineered to activate the immune system's natural ability to generate and/or expand antigen-specific cytotoxic immune cells to fight cancer and other chronic diseases. "Scientists at Immune Design have established a unique portfolio of approaches to cancer immunization and adjuvant systems designed to enhance the ability of a vaccine to protect against infection, which could meaningfully improve vaccine development," said Dr. Roger M. Perlmutter, President, Merck Research Laboratories. "This acquisition builds upon Merck's industry-leading programs that harness the power of the immune system to prevent and treat disease."
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) applies science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. Pfizer Inc. recently announced positive top-line results from a second Phase 3 pivotal study evaluating the efficacy and safety of its investigational oral Janus kinase 1 (JAK1) inhibitor, abrocitinib, in patients aged 12 and older with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (AD). This is the second monotherapy trial in the JAK1 Atopic Dermatitis Efficacy and Safety (JADE) global development program (B7451013, or JADE MONO-2). Pfizer announced positive top-line results from the first trial in the JADE program (B7451012, or JADE MONO-1) on May 15th, 2019. Complete results from JADE MONO-1 will be presented as a late-breaking abstract at a major upcoming European scientific meeting in Madrid in October 2019. Pfizer's leading JAK biology and chemistry expertise from years of JAK research experience, has enabled the company to take a different R&D approach, resulting in the broadest immunokinase inhibitor pipeline. Instead of studying a single molecule for all its potential uses, where it may not be optimal for some, Pfizer's candidates are purposefully matched to the conditions where we believe they have the greatest potential to, if approved, address unmet need. Pfizer has five unique immunokinase inhibitors in late-stage clinical trials for the potential treatment of nine immune-mediated diseases. "These findings add to a growing body of evidence supporting the potential of abrocitinib to improve the lives of people living with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis," said Michael Corbo, PhD, Chief Development Officer, Inflammation & Immunology, Pfizer Global Product Development. "We look forward to continued findings from the JADE program, with results from the next abrocitinib efficacy study, using an active control, becoming available in spring 2020. This will further our understanding of abrocitinib as a potential medicine for patients who suffer from this chronic condition."
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